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Kuminga hopes to make Draymond proud after teammate's draft-night plea

Kuminga hopes to make Draymond proud after teammate's draft-night plea originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Warriors forward Draymond Green planted his flag in support of Jonathan Kuminga before the high-flying youngster became a rising Warriors star.

Since imploring then-general manager Bob Myers to select Kuminga with the No. 7 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Green and the young forward have forged a special bond as Warriors teammates, something that motivates Kuminga to never let Green down.

Speaking to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole and Kerith Burke on the latest edition of “Dubs Talk,” Kuminga was asked if he had heard of Green’s draft-night push to select him, with the young forward explaining that he had, and ever since the two of them have been very close.

“Yeah, someone told me that before,” Kuminga said. “I always tell people that Draymond just helping me, pushing me, every other day did not start today, Draymond wanted me to get drafted here, so I never want to make him look bad.

“So that’s why every time it pushes me, motivates me to be a better person and player. I embrace it, and I just go out and make him proud, make him believe that what he did worked.”

While Green was in Tokyo for the Olympic Games during the 2021 draft, he stayed up late into the night and texted Myers to draft Kuminga and guard Moses Moody with the Nos. 7 and 14 picks. While Myers had been interested in both, to begin with, the vote of confidence from Green sealed the decisions.

Both Moody and Kuminga have developed into legitimate scoring threats for the Warriors, with the latter’s wicked improvement curve this season being one of the main catalysts to Golden State’s surge up the Western Conference standings.

Kuminga had played one season in the NBA G-League, but still was a very raw talent going into the draft. Still, Myers, Green and the rest of the organization saw something special in the youngster, which has paid dividends for both Kuminga and the Warriors.

Since talking with coach Steve Kerr about his role and playing time, Kuminga has been on a tear, consistently notching double-digit points and giving Golden State an inside presence to complement its outside shooting prowess.

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