Warriors Coach Steve Kerr Praises Rookie’s ‘Basketball Instinct’


Getty Golden State Warriors rookie Moses Moody during the 2021 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot on August 15, 2021.

Moses Moody already had some high expectations when he came to the Golden State Warriors in July’s NBA draft.

The Warriors had reportedly turned down the chance to trade for an established NBA star to hold onto the pick, and Moody was considered a steal for Golden State at the No. 14 overall pick. Moody could be facing even more pressure after an injury ended the preseason for fellow lottery pick Jonathan Kuminga, giving him a bigger role in the lineup.

But despite the pressure he might be facing, Moody has shined on the court and even earned some unusual praise from Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.

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Moody Plays Beyond His Years

As Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area noted, it’s rare for Kerr to go very far in his praise of rookies, preferring instead to “straddle the line between calm encouragement and cold guidance, supervision, reminding them that the NBA is a cathedral of learning.” But Moody appears to be an exception, especially after his strong performance in the team’s preseason. In the Oct. 8 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, Moody scored 10 points in 10 fourth-quarter minutes, hitting all three of his three-pointers.

Kerr had some good things to say about Moody’s feel for the game, praising how quickly he’s become acclimated to the NBA game.

“We’ve seen him in the last few days start to pick up on things,” Kerr said after the game, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “The first few days were kind of a whirlwind for him. But it’s a testament to his basketball instinct how quickly he’s picking things up.”

Moody has given credit to his teammates for helping him develop.

“I’m in a great situation, with a great organization, with a lot of help,” Moody said. “I’m listening to not only the older guys, the vets on our team, but also the coaching staff. Everybody is dishing out so much knowledge and opportunities to learn. Everybody from Steve Kerr to Steph Curry to Avery Bradley to Juan (Toscano-Anderson) and D-Lee (Damion Lee).”

Warriors Rookies Could Take Slow Path

Both Moses and Kuminga are expected to eventually play meaningful minutes for the Warriors this year with the second unit, though some believe that the team could move them along slowly to start the year. Appearing on NBC Sports Bay Area, former Warriors star turned analyst Chris Mullin said the two could follow in the footsteps of Jordan Poole, who split time between Golden State and the G League Santa Cruz Warriors, where he honed his game before eventually returning to take on a significant role.

“Well for Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga the blueprint and the playbook is Jordan Poole,” Mullin said. “We’ve seen steady progress to where he’s really a bigtime threat this year.”

Kerr has had praise for both Moody and Kuminga. He told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami that Kuminga has a chance to be a dominant player once he adds some size to his frame.

“Especially Kuminga, because of the way he’s built. He’s going to add a lot of muscle and pure strength that’s going to suit him well. As he gains more and more knowledge of the NBA game, he’ll have a greater and greater chance to make an impact.

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