Warriors Signing Jonas Jerebko Brings Pistons Lessons With Him

Jonas Jerebko entered the NBA in 2009, straight from Sweden to the Detroit Pistons, where he toiled under five head coaches in five seasons. He listened to them to varying degrees, but mostly found himself applying lessons taught by teammates.

There may not have been a better bunch from which to learn. Ben Wallace, Rip Hamiliton and Tayshaun Prince formed the core of a group that had made six consecutive trips to the Eastern Conference Finals and won a championship in 2004.

"I had Rip, Tay, Ben ... some really good vets that showed me the ropes," Jerebko said this week on the NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors Insider Podcast. "These are guys I was looking up to when I was 15 and watching The Finals. I really wanted to just pick up on what they were doing."

From them, Jerebko learned one thing above all else.

"There's no secret recipe: It's hard work," he said.

Jerebko started 73 games as a rookie, leading the Pistons in that category. He averaged 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. He also began establishing a reputation as a hungry, full-effort utility player that followed him to Detroit, Boston and Utah.

"He's a versatile guy," Jae Crowder said of Jerebko in January 2017, when they were Celtics teammates. "He does a good job of bringing that energy, of doing what we need him to do."

That versatility and energy, along with accurate 3-point shooting, is why the Warriors signed Jerebko to a one-year contract last month.

The hunger is what keeps sending Jerebko to a Michigan gym this summer.

"I've always hated losing," he said. "It's always been that way. I don't care if it's cards or whatever game it might be. I've always hated losing. I want to be on the other side. I want to be on the winning team. That's always stayed with me."

Put another way, Jerebko entered the NBA as eager pup and was lucky enough to land in a place with like-minded, accomplished veterans.

"I had Ben Wallace as my vet. He was the first one in the gym and the last one to leave," Jerebko said. "So I just started picking up the things he did and what he was telling me about, like how to be a professional."

And now Jerebko, 31, is a nine-year vet joining another team of pros.

"I'm just looking forward to getting in there and mixing it up with the guys," he said. "I'm a team-first guy and I move the ball and if I'm open, I'm going to knock down the shot. It's going to be fun."

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