ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said on First Take on Tuesday that he's hearing Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga is "shortchanging" the Warriors due to a reported lack of discipline, among other concerns regarding alleged issues with his attitude:
"I'm worried about Kuminga. I'm hearing too many things about him off the court in terms of his head. The level of discipline he lacks. You understand?
"Some of the foolishness. I'm not getting in his personal business. I'm not saying nothing like that. I'm talking attitude, I'm not talking actions. I'm saying that attitude, the level of focus, commitment, determination, just putting your head down. doing the work.
"I'm hearing that he's shortchanging the Warriors in that regard, and he gotta get his act together, because I'm a Jonathan Kuminga fan."
The 19-year-old Kuminga averaged 9.3 points on 51.3 percent shooting in 16.9 minutes per game for the NBA champion Warriors last season.
Even if Smith's report has merit, Kuminga is a rising second-year player about to turn just 20 years old. He's still developing his game and habits on and off the court and has a natural learning curve to navigate at a young age.
Kuminga is far from a finished product, but the early returns also looked great.
He said on a recent edition of NBC Sports Bay Area's Dubs Talk that he has his eyes on the future in hopes of carrying the championship legacy set by Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
Kuminga is part of a young potential core including Moses Moody, Jordan Poole and James Wiseman, all of whom are 23 and younger. He spoke about conversations the group has had about taking and carrying the franchise torch someday (h/t Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area):
"That's just us sitting down, talking about it. I mean, a lot of people always talk about it. And I had a couple talks with all the guys you just mentioned. We speak about it every time we sit down.
"We're just saying, 'What do you think when we're running the team too?' We just got to keep up with the legacy that the older guys left. We just got to keep building on that one and let the people know that the old guys are gone, but there's still the young guys that are coming up."
Ultimately, Kuminga has star potential based on flashes shown in his rookie year. While he may have to work on some things to get there, he has time on his side, especially with the Curry/Thompson/Green trio continuing to lead the team.