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#pounditTuesday, April 23, 2024

Steve Kerr reveals his message to Jonathan Kuminga amid reported rift

Warriors coach Steve Kerr in a blue warmup jacket

Mar 20, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr encourages his players during the fourth quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr on Friday addressed forward Jonathan Kuminga’s reported frustration about his role with the team.

A report from The Athletic’s Anthony Slater and Shams Charania was published after the Warriors’ stunning collapse Thursday against the Denver Nuggets. The report stated that Kuminga had “lost faith” in Kerr after the contest.

Kuminga tallied 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists on 5/7 shooting before getting subbed out midway through the third quarter at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. The Warriors ended up blowing an 18-point lead and lost via Nikola Jokic’s wild buzzer-beater. Kerr never reinserted Kuminga during the fourth quarter.

Kerr was asked about Kuminga during the former’s Friday press conference. Kerr spoke about his conversation with the 21-year-old wing after the report went public.

The Warriors head coach was adamant that such issues are better kept in-house. He also warned Kuminga that going public with his frustration could lead to “distractions” for the rest of the team.

“Those things are better discussed behind the scenes. Anytime something like that goes public, then it creates a distraction. … You have an issue, I’m here. I’m the most accessible coach in the league probably. My door is always open,” said Kerr.

Kerr has included Kuminga in the Warriors’ starting lineup in the team’s last 11 games — the longest stretch of the youngster’s career by far.

Kuminga has posted career-high averages in points (12.8), rebounds (4.1), and minutes played (22.1) this season. The third-year pro clearly believes he has even more to offer the 16-18 Warriors, who have struggled to keep up in a crowded Western Conference.

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