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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Steve Kerr related Jonathan Kuminga to Shawn Marion. The Warriors want him to play similarly – The Athletic

CHICAGO — Jonathan Kuminga was born in 2002. He wasn’t alive during the Bulls’ dynasty run. But he has the internet. He’s seen Michael Jordan highlights. He’s been told that his first NBA coach, Steve Kerr, was part of those Jordan teams. So he came to Kerr with questions Friday morning.

“How many championships did you win?” Kuminga asked. “This was my first time playing in the building. Is it the same building?”

Kuminga moves like an adult on the basketball court, but within the NBA world, he’s a basketball infant, knowing little about the past, learning rudimentary lessons in the present as everyone dreams of his future.

There was another conversation between Kuminga and Kerr recently, days before he exploded for 25 points, three assists and three blocks in Chicago on Friday night, the eye-popping aspect of the Warriors’ 138-96 get-well blowout win over the Bulls.

Kerr brought film to this meeting. He wanted to show Kuminga several examples of the type of half-effort plays that still have him on the fringes of the Warriors’ every night rotation. Too many times this season, Kuminga’s focus and energy have been too spotty.

This late December fast break sequence against the Kings is one of a hundred examples. Kuminga is in the left corner when Sacramento gets the defensive rebound. His job is to sprint back in transition and get into the mix.

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