Why Draymond treats, teaches Kuminga like son, not brother originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
The Warriors have spent the entire 2021-22 NBA season trying to accomplish a complicated balancing act: Win while developing several players under the age of 23 years old.
Jonathan Kuminga has been the biggest test of what the Warriors are trying to do. At 19 years old, the rookie has all the talent in the world, but he is also extremely raw. He has flashes of greatness while also making costly mistakes.
Unlike fellow rookie Moses Moody, the Warriors have tried giving Kuminga rotation minutes during the 2022 NBA playoffs, getting mixed results, with mostly ineffective minutes as a starter against the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference semifinals.
Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are the elder statesmen for the Warriors now, and part of their job is to bring Kuminga, Moody and Jordan Poole along.
But Poole and Moody are older and more mature than Kuminga, which has forced Green to realize he needs to approach the 2021 no. 7 overall draft pick differently.
“In the most respectful way, I had to look at him more like my son instead of my brother,” Green told Andscape’s Marc J. Spears. “The reality is he is just as close to my son in age as me in age. You start looking at the guy and you expect him to be this, speak like this, you expect him to do this thing and that thing. But then you realize, ‘Why am I expecting that out of him?’ What would be the reason behind expecting certain things from him when I don’t expect that from DJ? [Iguodala].
“The way you view a guy and speak to a guy, is that connection going to be better with me treating him like a brother and him not understanding anything at all, or is it going to be better with me treating him like a son, explaining things to him thoroughly and helping him along? Is that connection going to be better that way? That is night and day.”
Kuminga has started the last three games against the Grizzlies, but at times during the first quarter, he looked out of control. In Game 4, he played just over five minutes and never saw the court again.
The learning curve has been steep for Kuminga, but the Warriors firmly believe he has the talent to become a multiple time NBA All-Star, and if he follows the lead of Green, Iguodala and the other veterans on the team, he should be able to reach his potential.