The energy Warriors rookie Jonathan Kuminga brings to the hardwood has made it pretty easy for Dub Nation to fall in love with the 19-year-old.
Averaging just under 10 minutes played per game for Golden State, Kuminga makes every second count as soon as he steps on the floor.
And former Dubs guard Quinn Cook already is impressed with what he’s seen so far from the young forward.
“He is a freak of nature,” Cook told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Grant Liffmann on a recent Dubs Talk podcast. “I fell in love with his game during summer league, I just saw things. I was like ‘wow he definitely could be a star.’”
Kuminga’s fearless attitude and punishing dunks almost make those watching him forget he’s playing in his first NBA season.
“That’s how I would play if I was built like him,” Cook told Liffmann. “I would want to dunk everything. He plays how I dream of playing. That’s exactly who I would want to be in my next life.”
But his youthfulness is a reminder of just how bright his future is.
“I heard his name for a while, he was probably one of the top kids in his class,” Cook said. “But you can never tell in high school because of all the competition isn’t what it is in college and the league. And obviously, he went the [NBA G League] Ignite route so I was paying close attention to him, with him and Jalen Green, but just seeing him in summer league, just if it was a block or if it was a rebound, cross-over to a crazy dunk, it was just like ‘wow.’”
After being a standout hooper throughout his high school years, Kuminga decided to bypass collegiate basketball, declining offers from big-name schools like Duke and Kentucky, to join the Ignite, where he averaged 15.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.
Kuminga was drafted by Golden State as the No. 7 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, and, well, that chapter is still being written.
But as of now, Cook, coach Steve Kerr, Steph Curry, Draymond Green and others like what they see.
“Every time, even when he’s not in rotation, he gets in… he plays out of his mind,” Cook said. “He plays tremendous. When he gets in the rotation, there’s no let-up because he has that motive, and that says a lot about his professionalism and obviously, he’s in the right spot with those guys. I love the kid.”