How Warriors' Jordan Poole, Eric Paschall Went From Rivals to BFFs

HAYWARD - Warriors rookies Jordan Poole and Eric Paschall were in perfect symmetry Saturday afternoon. 

Stuck in a five-on-two defensive situation, Poole guided his matchup towards his 6-foot-6, 255-pound teammate, who swatted an unsuspecting adolescent's layup attempt into the stands. Seconds later, the rookie prospects-turned camp counselors produce the same result, punctuated by a Dikembe Mutombo-like finger wave from Paschall, marking the latest development in their evolving relationship -- one that could bode well for Golden State's future.   

Saturday's chemistry wasn't expected four months ago. Entering their pre-draft workouts, Poole and Paschall -- now represented by Creative Agents Agency -- both shared scars of the 2018 National Championship game entering their first agent-sanctioned pre-draft workout. In the matchup -- which Paschall's Villanova Wildcats beat Poole's Michigan Wolverines handily -- Poole converted an and-1 on Paschall, who celebrated his national championship as his future teammate sat along the sideline.  

"Everybody hyped up the game," Poole said following an appearance with Paschall at Chabot College for the House of Highlights Camp. "We're competitive, we was talking trash."

With that in mind, the two walked into a Thousand Oaks gym with an expected guard up. 

"I thought he was going to have an attitude," Poole said of Paschall, "Like super aggressive. I mean, he's aggressive but always like, "Nah, don't talk to me."

"I'd probably say he was going to be an a-hole," Paschall added. "I thought he was going to be like, "Ah, this guy." 

Then, following weeks of pre-draft training, the two fostered a chemistry.

"I was surprised," Poole said.

It doesn't take long to see the differences between the two players. Poole, 20, was a four-star recruit out of Indiana's rural La Lumiere School, winning a National Championship over high school power Monteverde (Fla.) Academy in his senior year. At Michigan, he developed the reputation as an unconscious gunner who could occasionally score in bunches with an NBA future destined.

Meanwhile, despite averaging 26.0 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game as a junior at Dobbs Ferry High School (NY), Paschall only garnered interests from mid-major schools like Virginia Commonwealth, George Mason and Providence before enrolling at nearby Fordham. After transferring to Villanova following a coaching change, Paschall won two national titles but fell to No. 41 overall in June's NBA draft. 

Poole and Paschall's personalities are more different than their paths to teammates. While Paschall lived a relatively low-key offseason (aside from playing against rapper J-Cole in a New York pickup run), Poole was commenting on a picture of Klay Thompson and girlfriend Laura Harrier, asking entertainer and Oakland-native Zendaya on a double date with his Splash Brother teammate. 

"We'll see," Poole said when asked about his pursuit of the 'Euphoria' star. "We'll find out."

Along the baseline inside Chabot's gym Saturday, Poole -- minutes after playing alongside Paschal in a full-court game of two on 150 campers, most between the ages of 10 and 13 -- is dancing and singing the Weeknd's "I Feel it Coming" at the top of his lungs as Paschall laugh's and shakes his head. Twenty minutes later, as the two prepare to shoot the "House of Highlights Show," each is reacting to show preparation differently. 

"I've never done makeup before," Paschall admits.

"Yasss, sis," Poole adds. "I look like a whole snack." 

Despite the differences in personality, Poole and Paschall bond over jokes. During the show -- hosted by Omar Raja -- the two players are presented with a number of highlights requiring their commentary. Towards the end of the segment, Raja plays Poole's game-winner against Houston in the second round of the 2018 NCAA tournament, prompting a quick response from Paschall. 

"Yo," Paschall interjects. "You kicked out your leg."

"His body is all on my arm, youfeelme?" Poole retorts.  

"We each kind of complement each other," Poole says of their relationship. "You know he's an old soul, if anything I'm unique and outgoing, he's simple, I do wild colors, we're the complete opposite." 

"I probably balance him out by being the old soul," Paschall adds. "I'm just like super simple with everything I do so I just stay calm and don't really let anything get to me." 

In the coming week, Poole and Paschall will enter their first NBA training camp on a Warriors team in transition with different individual expectations. While Poole will compete for bench minutes, Paschall is the latest Golden State draft pick to garner comparisons to Warriors forward Draymond Green, a match the rookie is embracing.

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"I mean, it's great," Paschall said. "Dray just made a hundred mill so if I can make half that I'm fine, but no I take that on and definitely going to try and learn everything I can from him. Just being able to get that label, it means a lot."

For now, the two will enjoy the rest of the offseason, building on what is already a unique bond. 

"I really believe that opposites attract, heavily," Poole said. "It's a good combination."

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