Jonathan Kuminga Details Private Chat With Steve Kerr After Benching

Kuminga Kerr

The tense relationship between Steve Kerr and Johnathan Kuminga has been no secret, but Kuminga has revealed details of the conversation that helped turned things around.

Kuminga has shown glimpses of a true rising star this season, but seemed to be held back by his limited reserve role.

In the Warriors’ 130-127 loss to the Nuggets on January 4, Kuminga was benched for the last 18 minutes of the contest.

Kerr made the decision to bench the forward, even after he had scored 16 points in his almost 19 minutes on the court.

Golden State fans weren’t at all happy with the decision and evidently, neither was Kuminga.

The very next day, The Athletic’s Shams Charania revealed that Kuminga had “lost faith” in Kerr and that his benching was “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Later that week, Kerr and Kuminga has a private chat in the head coach’s office, Yahoo Sports‘ Jake Fischer reported this week.

“I just told him how I feel, he told me how he feels,” Kuminga told Yahoo Sports. “Things he wanted me to do more to get more playing time. After that, just going out there and just enjoying it, enjoying playing for him. He’s coaching me harder. Sometimes you don’t understand things until it comes to your eyes.

“Somebody wants great things for you, that’s why they coach you harder. I think that’s what it was, just him coaching me harder every time because he wants great things from me. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be on this court. I wouldn’t have this type of spirit to go out there and play.”

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Apparently, Kerr thought that Kuminga wasn’t focused enough.

But he’s sure as hell focused now.

“He felt like I wasn’t locked in,” Kuminga told Fischer. “Basketball, every possession matters, so I just wasn’t locked in on certain possessions. He told me, ‘I need you to do the small things that will help our team.’ He keeps repeating that to me every single time we talk.

“People think it was me switching gears. It’s not, nah. I had to just keep going, keep growing every day. Locking in even more. It’s not the haircut. I had a mindset that was already set.”

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