Former NBA champion and former Santa Cruz Warriors center Jordan Bell is one of twelve veterans selected for Team USA’s qualifying games this month. The squad, primarily made up of former NBA players and current G-Leaguers, will play Puerto Rico and Mexico later this month in Washington, as part of six first-round games to determine who moves onto the second round of qualification in 2023. Training camp begins this weekend.
The team is headlined by seven-time All-Star and BIG3 MVP Joe Johnson, who played one game with the Boston Celtics this year at age 40. Former Bulls coach Jim Boylen is coaching the team, which means players should expect to punch a time card every day at training camp. Bell won’t be able to get away with charging items to Boylen’s hotel room - unless it’s a big bowl of cereal or a PPV of Family Feud episodes.
Bell, a member of the Golden State Warriors from 2017-19, was a second-round pick out of the University of Oregon, and the Warriors purchased his draft rights for $3.5 million from the Chicago Bulls. He signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2019, and at the trade deadline, switched teams twice in two days. Last year, he signed a ten-day contract with the Warriors at the end of the season, and subsequently inked a G-League deal with Santa Cruz. He briefly joined the Chicago Bulls this year on a hardship ten-day contract, returned to Santa Cruz, and then was traded to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants for a 2022 first-round pick. Trust the process, Santa Cruz! Of course, the real motivation may have been to prepare the Santa Cruz players to also play without a big man, just like they would on the big team.
Is this relevant Warriors news? Probably not. Is it an excuse to post the clip of Jordan Bell throwing himself an alley oop off the backboard in his first weeks on the team? You bet it is.
And also an excuse to post this hilarious missed dunk against the Blazers in the playoffs. (Was it infutiating at the time? Yes, but the Warriors won.)
You know what? Let’s go ahead and watch all of Bell’s dunks from his final season on the Warriors. Because it’s the patriotic thing to do.