Jonathan Kuminga

Why Kuminga believes Kerr coaches him harder than other Warriors youngsters

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Steve Kerr has been known to push players with potential a little bit harder during his 10-year Warriors tenure, something that Jonathan Kuminga knows all too well.

Speaking to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke and Monte Poole on the latest edition of “Dubs Talk,” Kuminga was asked if Kerr coaches him harder than others, such as his former teammate Jordan Poole.

“Oh it’s worse than Jordan Poole,” Kuminga said. “There are definitely times where I think I’m doing well, and Steve doesn’t think I’m doing well because he wants me to do better. There was a game, I think it was a couple of weeks ago where he just took a timeout to yell at me in front of everybody.”

The young Warriors forward explained that Kerr does indeed push him hard, but he recognizes that the entire coaching staff is tough on him because they know how much potential he has.

“And obviously he yells at me all the time, so I’m used to it now and I’m like ‘Coach, I got you,’ " Kuminga said. "Even if I think I didn’t do anything wrong I’ll be like ‘My bad, my fault.’ He sees something I don’t think I see, and so do all the other coaches so they push me harder and after the game when I look back and see a good result I’m like ‘Oh it worked.’ ”

Kuminga then was asked about his teammates, many of whom are seriously invested in his development, and the 21-year-old was quick to point out how impactful Kevon Looney has been as a mentor.

“I’ve got Loon,” Kuminga explained. “Loon is one of those guys who just talks to me every day and check on me. People just don’t always see it since he’s not loud.”

The Warriors took a chance on Kuminga, selecting him with the No. 7 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, and that choice has been paying off in a big way this season.

While he had his struggles during the first half of the season, including frustration with lack of playing time, Kuminga has become a bruising scoring threat capable of attacking the rim from all angles.

Since Kerr and Kuminga worked out their differences after his fourth-quarter benching during a crushing loss to the Denver Nuggets on Jan 4. at Chase Center, the young forward has blossomed into a scorer, notching 13 games of 20 or more points since that loss to the Nuggets.

Kuminga's continued development will be critical to the Warriors' NBA playoff chances this season, and Kerr and the coaching staff are well aware of what he is capable of, which is why they will continue to push him more than others.

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