In a cold bit of irony, Warriors skywalker Jonathan Kuminga will not be in this season’s NBA Rising Stars Challenge. And his teammate, guard Klay Thompson, didn’t hold back when offering his opinion on the situation.
Thompson said it’s a “travesty” that Kuminga, Golden State’s high-flying, physically imposing 19-year-old rookie, won’t be in Cleveland for the All-Star break to play in the yearly exhibition game filled with the NBA’s rising young talent.
Thompson has a point. If the NBA holds a rising stars challenge, one would think they’d want a teenager that can dunk the basketball like Kuminga can.
And here’s Exhibit B:
Or just hop on the internet, and you’ll find ample clips of the awe-inspiring rookie.
Kuminga can do more than dunk the rock, too. He was passed over because his conventional stats don’t impress compared to other young players, due to limited minutes on the Warriors’ staked, veteran-laden roster. But taking his per-36 minute averages into account, he’s one of the NBA’s top rookies. (According to the NBC Sports broadcast and confirmed below.)
Kuminga, for his part, ain’t trippin’. And why bother when Thompson wants all the smoke?
With how strongly Kuminga is coming on lately, however, he’ll be an absolute beast in next year’s Rising Stars game. He might even get revenge for this season’s snub. His powers are “rising” exponentially, and I have no doubt he’ll help the Warriors win in the playoffs this season, perhaps receiving heavy minutes in spots.
And ultimately, that’s why Kuminga is all good with this, at least publically. He’s in a sweet spot in Golden State, learning from the best, most experienced team in the business. And that includes Thompson, who certainly knows a snub when he sees one.