What was impressive though was the Warriors reaction. First, Steve Kerr didn’t take him out. Didn’t bench him, instead left him in and with that showed confidence.
Then there was Draymond Green, who was on ESPN’s Mic’d Up, and was heard encouraging Bell.
Then there was assistant coach Mike Brown, who tried to get Bell out of the moment, in a great story relayed by Ethan Straus of The Athletic.
“So Jordan played against my son Elijah,” Brown explained. “My oldest son played at Mater Dei High School in Orange County and Jordan played at Long Beach [Poly]. So they had a lot of games back in the day. So I went up to him and he thought I was serious, because we took the time out. He’s about to walk out of the huddle and I walk up to him and say, ‘Jordan, listen, don’t worry about the dunk. I saw about three or four of them back in the Long Beach days and you bounced back.’ He fell out laughing. He said, ‘Ah, MB, I didn’t do that back then!’ I said, ‘Yea you did! It’s all good, though!’”
It worked. Bell never lost confidence, never stopped playing the way he plays, and soon enough there was this.
With Portland going smaller and counting on their offense more, Bell is going to have a larger role in that matchup. This is exactly how you build up the confidence of a player so he will come through for you in those moments.