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Warriors Rising Star Addresses Midseason Spat with Steve Kerr

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr

2021 No. 7 pick, Jonathan Kuminga, wants people to know that he never wanted to leave the Golden State Warriors. He would rather emulate his idol, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, staying with one franchise for his entire career. However, he did need the Warriors to know where he stood.

“I did not lose faith of being here; it’s not what I said,” Kuminga says, per Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.

“It was just definitely to a point where I felt like I need to be [on the court]. I felt like I could help. I felt like there was just so much left on the table where I felt like me and the young guys could go out there and help [Stephen Curry], Klay [Thompson], and Draymond [Green].”

Jonathan Kuminga Addresses Early Season Spat with Steve Kerr

Alluding to his one-on-one meeting with Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, in which he expressed dissatisfaction with his role, Kuminga relays that the impromptu confab “was just me trying to go out there and just find a way to play.”

“Find a way to be on the floor. Find a way to help every young guy get their chance. And as you see every young guy getting a chance… We are doing the things that we were supposed to be doing. We’re not going to help every day… not going to win every day.

But as you gain that experience, you’re going out there and just helping as much as we can.”

The summit worked out well for all parties.

Kerr has evolved into a less rigid leader, increasingly willing to rely on the Warriors’ younger talent. Kuminga has become a Most Improved Candidate, averaging 19.3 points per game since becoming a full-time starter. The Warriors have made it back over .500 after an 18-20 start.

Breathing Life Into the Warriors

Kuminga has been a revelation for the Warriors since becoming a full-time starter.

While winning 57.9 percent (22-16) of their games with Kuminga as a starter this season, the third-year forward only became a full-time starter on Jan. 27. Taking on LeBron James and his battalion in what became a one-point loss, the DR Congo native tallied 22 points and nine rebounds against the Los Angeles Lakers. Even including that game, the Warriors have gone 15-8 since Jan. 27, winning 65.2 percent of their games.

This win percentage ranks above all but four teams (Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves) this season.


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