Monday, February 6 2023

Stephen A. claims Kuminga’s lack of focus ‘shortchanging’ Dubs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Warriors’ young trio of Moses Moody, James Wiseman and Jonathan Kuminga are expected to contribute to the team’s winning culture for years to come.

But with all three under the age of 22, there are sure to be some growing pains along the way.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith spoke of the future core during Tuesday’s episode of “First Take,” where he said one player in particular worries him when it comes to the Warriors’ chances of repeating as NBA champions.

“I’m telling you right now, I expect Moody and Wiseman to be significant,” Smith began. “I’m worried about Kuminga. I’m hearing too many things about him off the court in terms of his head, the level of discipline that he lacks, you understand? Some of the foolishness. I’m not getting into his personal business, I’m not saying nothing like that.

“I’m talking attitude, I’m not talking actions. I’m saying the attitude, the level of focus, commitment, determination, just putting your head down and doing the work. I’m hearing that he’s shortchanging the Warriors in that regard, and he’s got to get his act together because I’m a Jonathan Kuminga fan.”

At just 19 years old, Kuminga has shown he possesses plenty of talent since the Warriors drafted him No. 7 overall in 2021. But he also reminded fans of just how raw his abilities are with some costly mistakes throughout his rookie season.

Still, he was able to carve out a role on a championship-bound Golden State team while providing countless highlight-worthy plays along the way. And that’s something the Warriors definitely can work with.

A perfect example of Kuminga’s up-and-down output was described by Draymond Green on his podcast in July, when the Warriors veteran said he was “disappointed” in one of Kuminga’s summer league performances after the teen “didn’t look engaged.”

RELATED: How two French bulldogs cured Kuminga’s loneliness

But Kuminga bounced back in his next game, earning deserved praise from his older teammate.

There’s still a lot of work to be done in order for Kuminga to reach his full potential — and most if not all of it will need to come from his end.

If he’s “shortchanging” the Warriors in any of those areas where he needs to improve, the job becomes that much more difficult. But the team’s belief and excitement around the first-round pick has yet to waiver, and he has risen to the challenge thus far.

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Source: Yahoo Sports


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