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Kuminga humility and advice from an unlikely source
Meant to do a post from the nice win vs the Detroit Pistons, but over the last 48+ hours, got buried with a ton of YouTube work (see below) and life stuff, then greeted our resident purveyor of positivity on the live commentaries, Jeffry Chen.
The native of New Zealand and current student in Australia is visiting some family on this continent. If you’ve ever seen him on our live chats, he can give Mike Breen a run for his money on best reactions when Stephen Curry (or anyone dressed in blue and gold) does something incredible. I honestly do think this youngster has the potential to become a great play-by-play sports broadcaster if he wanted to.
Anyways, that brings me to the Klay Thompson celebration raffle. I picked up Chen from the Painted Ladies and we went to Chase Center and I snagged a “Kayak Klay” bobblehead, as ticket prices were irresistibly low, for our raffle (Jeffry already had tickets planned out long ago). I’m nearly done compiling the full inventory of prizes and we already have two winners, although the first one hasn’t replied to their email, but the train moves on, soon.
I tried to get more paid subscribers for this website by hawking Kayak Klay on last night’s livestream but nobody bit — until “Backyard Creatures” came in out of nowhere and dropped not one, but two Super Chat donations of $20 each. Wow!
Just in case you want to be a part of the giveaway, here’s the subscribe button:
So yeah, that whole process of meeting up with Jeffry and then hopping on the live game commentary for five hours (more on this, later) after driving back home from Chase during intros — okay, okay, I’ll take the blame for the loss, maybe I jinxed it by leaving before tipoff! — essentially killed this belated post yesterday.
But as they say, better late than never. Aside from all the Pistons postgame good feels (see all the videos below), I was struck by two instances of Jonathan Kuminga showing some abnormally high humility for a young player. And then there was the person he named as someone who gave him advice: Andrew Wiggins!
In the video above, Kuminga shows his frustration as The Athletic’s Anthony Slater asks about his foul trouble. This kid cares!
Then in the same interview, he mentions himself as “just a rookie” twice. That’s some humility right there.
And then in this clip below, Kuminga says, “I spoke to Andrew most of the time. He told me it don’t matter, I’m super-athletic compared to everybody else, when I see that ball go chase it.”
Wiggins told you that?
That’s pretty cool. On both fronts: what Wiggs told him and the fact that Andrew, one of the quietest guys in the NBA, took the initiative to advise him. I would’ve thought maybe JK really meant Andre Iguodala, but “Andre” and “Andrew” are simply pronounced differently. I’ve got to assume Kuminga really did mean Wiggins.
We have two relatively new guys to the squad and one is mentoring the other in important ways. Another win for the Warriors Way. Just think of how an older JK will pass this on to the youngsters of a future Golden State squad. Good feels!
Below is the complete transcription of the Kuminga interview (JK did not go to the podium after the Indiana Pacers game last night). To stay caught up and complete, I will include the remaining complete transcriptions of the entirety of the Pistons and Pacers games together in a future article for paid subscribers only, plus some bonus video. Ergo, it will be a mammoth post, but it should catch us up on all topics heading into the Houston Rockets game tonight — all of the notes are already typed in real-time onto our private Discord server which you can access by becoming a paid subscriber (cue blue button!):
KUMINGA POSTGAME PISTONS
Starting: “…help me a lot how to move without the ball, get easy buckets, bring energy to the table.”
How does that unit change with you: “I don’t look too much to score because it’s gonna be natural especially when you’re on the floor with Steph. A lot of people are gonna double him and you can stay wide open so it just helps me to get easy buckets…play hard because I’m the youngest person out there so if I don’t bring energy the others aren’t gonna bring energy so I’ll be the only one who brings more energy.”
Ten rebounds, double-double, rebounding emphasis: “I have been working on my rebounds lately because at the beginning of the season I wasn’t really trying to grab a lot of rebounds. I saw some places where Coach was kinda — he wasn’t really mad but he just said a couple things that I gotta rebound more…I spoke to Andrew most of the time. He told me it don’t matter. I’m super-athletic compared to everybody else. Whenever I see that ball just go chase it.”
What about rebounds is important? “I’ll say boxing out…it don’t matter if you don’t get it. As long as you box out, your teammates are gonna get it.”
Kerr pregame joking you better run or you’ll never touch the ball with Steph and Klay: “…first of all, he told me I’m gonna play with those guys. They’re gonna shoot the ball every time. You’re not gonna be able to touch the ball most of the time but all I gotta do is just run the floor, be in the right position where the ball’s gonna meet there, I’m gonna score easily and I think I did that for the most part. And I got a couple buckets.”
Feedback on running the floor: “I haven’t really spoke to Coach but just from a lot people on the staff, people I work with like Jama, they all come up to me, if Coach don’t tell me, whenever I’m not running or I’m running, they’re gonna come up to me and tell me you’re doing great or you’re not doing great. So they just keep up with me.”
Foul trouble (JK makes a disappointed face): “From what I heard from a couple of my vets, I’m always gonna get those type of fouls especially me being a rookie. Even if I don’t foul, but they see me trying to reach a little bit or being in a situation where I don’t foul but they’re still gonna call a foul. So it’s just a learning lesson. I gotta be smart on the floor. Usually coming into the game especially being a rookie, if I foul most of the time I’m gonna come right out. So I just gotta learn. Today was my learning lesson and I’ma do better next time.”
Challenge of defending physically but not fouling: “It’s been a big challenge. For the most part I’ve done great and I think that’s what they need me to do every single night, put pressure on the ball handler or the star. And I’ve been doing that for most of the time. We had a couple success with that.”
Getting up to speed compared to Day One: “I feel more comfortable. I’m at the place where I want to be especially being a rookie on this team. I’m at the place where I don’t gotta do too much. I still contribute anytime they need me to do something.”
Biggest strides: “Just understanding where to be on the floor most of the time especially, like you guys know, run and the floor every single time and playing hard.”
Did you realize you weren’t running the floor? “Yeah I saw a couple films. There’s places where I run and I can run faster than that and I’ve been working on that. We have had a lot of success with me running the floor. Even if I don’t get the score it’s gonna open up for somebody else. So I’ve been watching a couple films and I feel like there is some times when I don’t run as hard as I can.”
So just remembering it when you’re on the floor? “I mean, it’s a thing to me right now. I know anytime I step on the floor, I just gotta run hard, play hard. So it’s something that I’m not working on anymore. I know that every time I step on the floor I gotta do.