Bell, traded to Warriors on draft day, relishes first start against Bulls

ByBaxter Holmes ESPN logo
Saturday, November 25, 2017

OAKLAND, Calif. -- When Jordan Bell was introduced for his first career NBA start Friday, the rookie Golden State Warriors forward raised his hands above his head and rubbed his thumbs over his index and middle fingers, creating the universal gesture for money.

Bell would deploy that gesture a few more times in the Warriors' 143-94 win over the Chicago Bulls at Oracle Arena, usually after one of his many high-flying plays. He finished with seven points, six rebounds, six blocks, four assists and two steals.

"Six blocks, he was explosive," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

For Bell, that motion was a clear signal to the Bulls, a team that drafted him 38th overall this past summer, then sold his draft rights to the Warriors for $3.5 million.

"At first, I was thinking of all types of things to troll the other team, like doing [money hand gestures] and [saying] '3.5,'" Bell said after the game. "But as we got closer to the game, I was just mainly focused on the basketball game and trying to win it.

"Then when I saw we won the game, I started to troll a little bit."

For as much as Bell said he tried to stay focused on just the game, the former Oregon standout said his teammates kept reminding him about how the Bulls dealt him away.

"I remember Klay [Thompson] said something like, 'They don't want you, JB!'" Bell recalled.

In the final minutes, Bell, who was inactive in four of his past five games, converted an and-1 layup late, after which he celebrated by again making the money gesture before saying "3.5."

And as for using that gesture in the starting lineup, Bell said, "Yeah, I just wanted to see how 'cash considerations' was playing over there."

However, Bell said he didn't plan on using a potential slight as motivation moving forward, except, perhaps, when they play the Bulls.

"In my mind, I think I was the first pick in the draft coming to the Warriors," Bell said. "I try not to think about it much as possible. Like today, I said I wasn't going to play into it, but he started me, we're playing them, my face is on posters -- this game, it was hard not to feed into it."

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