When it comes to drama, there’s truly no league quite like the NBA. The latest piece comes on the Golden State Warriors front. Head coach Steve Kerr recently joined Draymond Green on his podcast, “The Draymond Green Show,” to discuss Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
During his chat with Green, Kerr seemingly took a shot at a pair of Golden State’s young players, Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga, when discussing the mentality of some of the Miami Heat‘s rotation players.
“None of those guys on Miami are sitting there saying, ‘Well, I didn’t play,’ or ‘Man, they put in so-and-so.’ They’re just all about winning,” Kerr said. “And you know this from our groups that we’ve had, when you have that championship mentality, every guy is bought in, every guy is just trying to win, nobody — nobody cares about any of that stuff.”
Kerr’s Warriors went crashing out in the second round of the playoffs, while Poole struggled to contribute and Kuminga was reportedly frustrated with his role.
“You don’t go in the locker room saying, ‘Well, I should have played more.’ You just wanna win. And that’s the beauty of finding that magic when you have a championship team, is that everybody is bought in, and it makes the decision for the coach really simple. You just go with your gut, and go with whoever’s playing well.”
Jordan Poole & Jonathan Kuminga ‘Pouted’ over Roles with Warriors
On the surface, Kerr’s comments may just seem to come from admiration of Miami’s “Heat Culture.”
However, when taking a look back at reports that surfaced during Golden State’s playoff run, the jab the man in charge took at the pair of players seems a bit more obvious.
Poole and Kuminga were both reportedly “pouting” over their roles in the first round series against the Sacramento Kings, according to Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard.
“I was talking to somebody earlier who’s ‘in the know’ who said that some of their players are pouting,” Broussard said on the April 19 “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker” The young boys. Kuminga, [Donte] DiVincenzo, Jordan Poole… cause they’re not getting minutes.”
Jonathan Kuminga May Seek Trade From Warriors
Kuminga’s frustrations have been no secret. He was apparently so fed up that a trade request wasn’t something that could be ruled out.
“The Warriors and Kuminga’s representatives are expected to discuss his future this offseason, league sources say,” Slater and Charania wrote on May 12. “Golden State will need to decide whether Kuminga will receive a full-time role moving forward and, if not, league sources say the No. 7 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft will want to be somewhere he can play more.”
The week after that news broke, Kerr made an appearance “The TK Show,” hosted by The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami, and gave insight to what it’s going to take for Kuminga to earn a more prominent role with the Dubs next season.
“The minutes are there for him to take at the backup four next year,” he told Kawakami. “He’s gotta make strides, and he and I talked about it. The No. 1 thing is he’s gotta rebound. If he rebounds and he runs the floor, there’s going to be a lot of opportunity for him… But he’s entering his third year next year, he’s 20 years old, got a great future ahead. He’s just gotta keep on the same path he’s on. But he’s gotta make those strides, like I said, on the glass and running the floor, diving in pick-and-roll. If he does those things, he’s going to play more, and that’s how you continue to grow and build your game.”