How Draymond motivated JK to be better while training Dubs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Draymond Green is a master at getting the most out of his teammates – just ask 20-year-old Jonathan Kuminga.
In an exclusive interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic, Kuminga discussed Draymond challenging him to be the best version of himself night after night.
“I really appreciate that because Draymond isn’t the kind of person that’s going to…support you as much as he’s supposed to when you haven’t really shown what you’re doing,” Kuminga told Charania. “Draymond is always in competition.”
The second-year forward also explained that as a rookie, he had to prove to Green what he was capable of on the pitch to earn the veteran’s respect. Instead of being deterred, Kuminga used it as fuel on his journey to be the best player he could be.
“Just thinking back, I was like, ‘One day, I’m just going to prove that I’ve worked to improve myself every day to become the person they really want me to be,'” Kuminga continued. .
Kuminga added that trying to reach the level Golden State veterans envision the youngster to be in the future is his motivation to be big.
In the Warriors’ 129-117 win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday at Chase Center, Kuminga certainly showed what he’s capable of.
Not only was the 20-year-old attacking the rim, but he was also draining 3 points, hitting four in the closing moments of the third quarter to give the Warriors some much-needed momentum heading into the fourth quarter.
Shooting 31.9% from 3-point range after his long-range outburst against the Raptors — up from 28.8% — Warriors coach Steve Kerr, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson all praised Kuminga for stepping up when it mattered.
“I told him that was a big boost, not just the threes, but the energy on the other side to put together a good defensive front and lead the game on both sides,” Curry said. “But those 3 were huge and gave us a lot of life before the fourth.”
Thompson said once Kuminga “mastered” his jump shot, he would be “dangerous”.
“But to be on the good run he made was very impressive and for this man the sky is the limit of his talent,” Thompson told reporters.
RELATED: Steph & Klay praise JK’s 3-point momentum change vs. Raptors
With Kerr, Curry, Thompson and Green all about Kuminga’s ability to be a star, it’s up to Kuminga to put in the work to get where he should be.
And should that happen, Kuminga can thank Green for his abrasive yet effective way of getting the best out of him.
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