Warriors' Jonathan Kuminga 'strongest 19-year-old' Andre Iguodala has seen

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Andre has high praise for Kuminga’s strength originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Jonathan Kuminga is so strong that he can’t possibly be 19 years of age, and he also has no idea how to play basketball yet.

Those were among the jokes cracked by Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green, who took turns complimenting the Warriors’ rookie sensation on Friday’s Point Forward podcast -- hosted by Iguodala and Evan Turner, which featured Green as a guest.

Kuminga is in a unique situation as a rookie who has been thrust into playing an important role on a team loaded with veterans and expected to win now. Iguodala revealed that Kuminga sometimes comes up to him at halftime of games when he’s struggling.

“He comes to me sometimes at halftime and he’s like, ‘I only got two points and we’re losing. How can I help the team get better?’” Iguodala said of Kuminga. “I’ll be like, ‘Listen when you realize it ain’t about how many points you scored, that you can affect the game in a totally different type of way because you are who you are, and you look the way you look? You’re going to have 20 with your eyes closed.’”

Iguodala added that Kuminga is the “strongest 19-year-old I’ve ever seen, it makes me doubt he’s 19.” The veteran, who is twice Kuminga’s age, said the difference between being a regular NBA player and a superstar can be as simple as playing hard – and he believes Kuminga has the potential to be the latter.

“Because it’s not about getting a bucket,” Iguodala said, relaying his advice to Kuminga. “If you just run the floor as hard as you can, you’re the fastest guy on the floor. You just don’t know it yet because you’re just trying to catch your breath. It’s as simple a thing as trying to get tired. You get to your second wind, you can play for two hours straight. Buy guys don’t want to take themselves to that edge, and that’s what’s holding them back. It’s very, very, very finite in terms of the difference between a superstar and an NBA player.”

Green said he advised Kuminga to take a page out of the book of Carmelo Anthony. Green told a story of guarding Anthony when Melo was on the New York Knicks, and he did the same move – going into Green’s body – again and again until he got a foul call.

“It was mind-boggling to me that this dude was going to do the same exact move until he gets the call,” Green said. “I’m telling Kuminga, he needs to do that.”

Related: Ecstasy, despair of Kuminga make him Dubs' playoff X-factor

Kuminga averaged 9.3 points and 3.3 assists in 70 games during the regular season, with flashes of explosiveness and highlight-reel dunks that reveal his sky-high potential.

But just wait until he actually knows what’s going on, according to Green.

“When I look at some of these games Kuminga’s having, some of the stuff this kid is doing, like, he don’t know how to play basketball, bro,” Green said. “He has no idea how to play basketball. Some of the things he’s doing on the floor, to be that physically dominant in the post is absolutely insane.”

As the Warriors begin their playoff run Saturday against the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the first round at Chase Center, Kuminga looks primed to get a chance to shine and grow even more as a teenager on the big stage.

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