How Draymond motivated JK to get better during Dubs practice
Draymond Green is a master at getting the best out of his teammates – just ask 20-year-old Jonathan Kuminga.
In the exclusive interview With Shams Charania of The Athletic, Kuminga discussed Draymond challenging him night after night to be the best version of himself.
“I really appreciate that because Draymond is not the type to… support you as much as he has when you haven’t really shown what he’s about,” said Kuminga to Charania. “Draymond always competes.”
Jonathan Kuminga of the Warriors sits down @Stadium: “I’m really capable of doing almost anything on the floor because I’m one of those two-way players the world hasn’t seen.” On frustrations and lessons learned as a newbie, he earns the respect of Draymond Green, naysayers, more. pic.twitter.com/Rss5RijiQx
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 24, 2023
The second year attacker also explained that when he was a rookie he had to show Green what he was capable of on the field to earn the veteran’s respect. Instead of letting that dissuade him, Kuminga used this as fuel in his journey to be the best player he can be.
“To look back on it, I just thought, ‘One day I will prove that I worked every day to become better, to become the person they really want me to be,'” continued Kuminga.
Kuminga added that trying to reach the level that Golden State veterans envision for the youngster in the future is his motivation to be great.
Kuminga certainly showed what he’s capable of in the Warriors’ 129-117 win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday at the Chase Centre.
In addition to attacking the rim, the 20-year-old knocked down 3-pointers and hit four in the dying moments of the third quarter to give the Warriors much-needed momentum in the fourth quarter.
Shooting 31.9 percent from 3-point range after his long breakout against the Raptors — up from 28.8 percent — Warriors coaches Steve Kerr, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson Kuminga they all praised him for stepping up when it mattered.
“I told him this is a big swing, not just the three points, but the energy on the other end to put up a good defensive line and run the game on both ends,” Curry said. “But those 3s were huge and gave us a lot of life in the 4ths.”
Thompson said that once Kuminga “exploits” his jump shot, he will be “dangerous.”
“But to get to the level of scandal that he had was very impressive and for this man the sky is the limit for his talent,” Thompson told reporters.
RELATED: Steph, Klay praise JK’s momentum-changing 3-pointers against Raptors
With Kerr, Curry, Thompson and Green all encouraging Kuminga’s ability to be a star, it is up to Kuminga to do the work to get where he is expected to be.
And if that happens, Kuminga can thank Green for his aggressive but effective way of getting the most out of him.
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