Jonathan Kuminga

Report: Kuminga ‘lost faith' in Kerr after Warriors' loss to Nuggets

NBC Universal, Inc. Following the Warriors 130-127 loss to the Nuggets, Steve Kerr addresses the media.

Frustrations continue to build for the Warriors, and now it appears one of their young stars isn't happy with his role.

The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Friday, citing sources close to Jonathan Kuminga, that the young forward has "lost faith in coach Steve Kerr."

"After sitting for the final 18 minutes of Thursday night’s loss to the Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga has lost faith in coach Steve Kerr, and the 2021 lottery pick no longer believes Kerr will allow him to reach his full potential, sources close to Kuminga tell The Athletic, adding another layer of turbulence to an already complex Warriors season," Charania wrote.

“'[Thursday night] was the straw that broke the camel’s back,'” one of the sources told Charania.

After scoring an impressive 16 points in 18 minutes Thursday, Kuminga was benched for the entire fourth quarter before the Warriors eventually blew an 18-point lead in a heartbreaking loss to the Nuggets.

Kerr explained to reporters after the game why Kuminga was on the bench as Golden State proceeded to suffer its fourth loss after leading by 17 or more points this season.

“His normal time to go back in would have been around the five-, six-minute mark,” Kerr said. “[Andrew Wiggins] was playing great, we were rolling, we were up 18, 19, whatever it was. So, we just stayed with [the finishing group]. At that point, it didn’t feel like the right thing to do. [Kuminga] had been sitting for a while, so I stayed with the group that was out there, and obviously we couldn’t close it out.”

Kuminga initially wasn't surprised by Kerr's decision to sit him down the stretch, and understood the move because of how well the lineup on the court was playing at the time.

“I really didn’t have much to say about that,” Kuminga said postgame. “The rest of the guys were playing good, we had a lead, everybody was happy.

“There was no explanation. I was just on the bench cheering, just like another teammate. Hyped because we were in it. I really don’t know. I didn’t see it coming at all, especially the way I was playing.”

The 21-year-old is having the best season of his three-year NBA career, averaging 12.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game and 50.6 percent shooting from the field as an emerging two-way threat.

This isn't the first time Kuminga reportedly has been unhappy with his Warriors role. Shortly after Golden State's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals last season, Charania reported that Kuminga could have sought a trade had he not been given a bigger role this season.

Kuminga indeed has received a bigger role this season, partly because of Draymond Green's indefinite suspension and Andrew Wiggins' early season struggles, but it remains to be seen what the future will hold for the rising star before the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline and later on throughout the season.

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