Golden State Warriors center Jordan Bell (2) reacts to getting hit in the jaw by the Houston Rockets during Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on May 22, 2018. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Jordan Bell learned a scary lesson in his rookie season for the Golden State Warriors

By C.J. Peterson
Special to S.F. Examiner

OAKLAND — Jordan Bell had just moved into a new apartment. He’d only spent two months in the Bay Area after having his rights traded from the Chicago Bulls — who picked him 38th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft — to the Golden State Warriors.

His apartment in downtown Oakland had a view of Lake Merritt, and so, Bell, the NBA rookie-to-be, gathered his dog Prince and snapped a photo for his Instagram.

“I took a picture on my balcony, facing somewhere, and people knew exactly where I was,” he said.

Soon after, he began seeing a mysterious man appear outside of his apartment every day, wearing glasses and a backpack. Bell had acquired a stalker. It began with that photo. A year later, Bell has moved, but is still dealing with the aftermath, and has re-thought his interaction with a growingly-aggressive fanbase.

“You just gotta keep your personal business protected,” said Bell after practice on Monday afternoon. “It’s not college anymore.”

After asking for daily autographs for a week straight, Bell said the suspicious man crossed a line. He approached Bell’s girlfriend when she was walking Prince while he was away on the road in San Antonio.  

“He came behind her and was like ‘Yo, is Jordan here?’ and she was freaked out,” he said. “She said he looked like a creep so she was worried and after that i decided to move.”

After the incident with his girlfriend, local authorities were notified and a police report was filed, although no arrests have been made in connection to the alleged stalking. After hastily moving out, Bell began a lengthy dispute over being let out of his apartment lease, a dispute which, Bell says, is still ongoing nearly a year after the move. 

“It was an ‘I don’t wanna be in the NBA anymore’ moment,” said Bell. “I’ve never experienced anything like that. I just think of that stuff in the movies and shows. I didn’t think it actually happens, especially to me.”

With the terrifying ordeal behind him, Bell says that he is now much more selective as to what he posts on social media.

Backgrounds and specific, location-revealing elements in photos are something that now warrants special attention in order to protect the privacy of himself, and his family.

“I took one last year when there was hail all over my roof and I took a picture,” he said. “[A reporter] was like, “Why’d you take it down?” And I was like, ‘That’s how the stalker got me last time.’ So it’s just things like that.”

Notebook: 

– Warriors shooting guard Patrick McCaw has until 11:59 p.m. EST to accept a $1.7 million qualifying offer from Golden State before it expires.

If McCaw does, in fact, sign the qualifying offer, he would be under contract for the 2018-19 season and become a restricted free agent in 2019, meaning the Warriors would be able to match any offer the 22-year-old wing theoretically fields.

In the event that McCaw fails to ink the deal, he would become a restricted free agent immediately.

– The Warriors held their longest training camp practice so far on Monday with full participation from every player besides Demarcus Cousins (Achilles).

According to head coach Steve Kerr, Golden State ran full-team workouts and a 24-minute scrimmage over the course of a two-hour practice.

There were no injuries or ailments to report as the Warriors prepare for their second preseason game against the Sacramento Kings, who they will play in Seattle this Friday.

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