Report: Kuminga has ‘lost faith' in Kerr after loss to Nuggets

Report: Kuminga has ‘lost faith' in Kerr after loss to Nuggets originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Frustrations continue to build for the Warriors and now it appears one of their young stars is not happy with his role.

The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Friday, citing sources close to Jonathan Kuminga, that the young forward has "lost faith" in coach Steve Kerr and no longer believes he will allow him to reach his full potential.

"After sitting for the final 18 minutes of Thursday night’s loss to the Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga has lost faith in coach Steve Kerr, and the 2021 lottery pick no longer believes Kerr will allow him to reach his full potential, sources close to Kuminga tell The Athletic, adding another layer of turbulence to an already complex Warriors season," Charania wrote.

“'(Thursday night) was the straw that broke the camel’s back,'” one of the sources told Charania.

After scoring an impressive 16 points in 18 minutes on Thursday night, Kuminga was benched for the entire fourth quarter before the Warriors eventually blew an 18-point lead in a heartbreaking loss to the Nuggets.

In speaking to reporters after the game, Kerr explained why Kuminga was on the bench as Golden State proceeded to blow its fourth game after leading by 17 or more points this season.

“His normal time to go back in would have been around the five-, six-minute mark,” Kerr said. “[Andrew Wiggins] was playing great, we were rolling, we were up 18, 19, whatever it was. So we just stayed with [the finishing group]. At that point it didn’t feel like the right thing to do. [Kuminga] had been sitting for a while so I stayed with the group that was out there, and obviously we couldn’t close it out.”

Kuminga initially wasn't surprised by Kerr's decision not to play him down the stretch, and understood the move because of how well the lineup on the court was playing at the time.

“I really didn’t have much to say about that,” Kuminga said postgame. “The rest of the guys were playing good, we had a lead, everybody was happy.

“There was no explanation. I was just on the bench cheering, just like another teammate. Hyped because we were in it. I really don’t know. I didn’t see it coming at all, especially the way I was playing.”

The 21-year-old is having the best season of his three-year NBA career, averaging 12.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game on 50.6-percent shooting from the field as an emerging two-way threat for the Warriors.

This is not the first time Kuminga reportedly has been unhappy with his Warriors role. Shortly after Golden State's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals last season, Charania reported that Kuminga could have sought a trade had he not been given a bigger role this season.

Kuminga indeed has received a bigger role this season, partly due to Draymond Green's indefinite suspension and Andrew Wiggins' early-season struggles, but it remains to be seen what the future will hold for the rising star before the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline and later on throughout the season.

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