DeAndre Jordan became more mature because of olympics
Last summer, L.A. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan gained a lot of experience when he became part of the U.S. Men’s Basketball Team that won gold at the Rio Olympics. He got the chance to learn from one of the best coaches in the world, Mike Krzyzewski, and was surrounded by superstar teammates leading up to the gold-medal run.
That experience hasn’t been lost on Jordan, and his head coach has taken notice.
Doc Rivers has raved about the maturity Jordan has shown since starting training camp a month ago. Jordan has also shown signs of becoming a real leader for the team.
“There’s definitely been [growth] in the leadership category. He talks more, which I didn’t know was possible. But he does — really more. I think he prepares better. He was probably around those guys and someone must’ve worked really hard over in Brazil. You can see D.J. is doing that now. He’s putting in more time. He has a better confidence. You can see, even free-throw wise, when you look at him. He looks comfortable. They’re going in a little more, which is good, but the confidence part is good to see.”
The 6-foot-11 big man had a spectacular season last year when he averaged a career-best 12.7 points with 13.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 2.3 blocks per game. With these numbers, he was able to capture his second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award.
Despite the success he’s seen, Rivers thinks he can still be better at one aspect of his game:
“He’s got all the ability. I still believe he can be a pretty effective scorer in the post someday.”
If Jordan continues to show his higher level of maturity plus more efficiency own the post, it will certainly be a big boost to the Clippers, who look to finally make a deeper run in the playoffs this season.