After the loss, Kuminga seemed depressed because he believed even good performances would not cement his spot in Kerr's rotation. The most effective starter on Thursday was Kuminga, who played less minutes than the other four. “Even when I play well sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter,”
Kuminga never mentioned Kerr or the assistant battalion. He denied blame but thought he was following orders. He usually is, especially after joining the starting lineup in mid-December. “JK is a young player,” Kerr said Friday. “He's improving. That's why he starts. Continuing to grow is part of his growth.”
Kuminga, one of two Golden State lottery choices in 2021, saw the Warriors' catastrophic downfall. Moses Moody, the other '21 lottery choice, who is used to watching, did too.
Which puts Kerr in problem. Dub Nation torchbearers are coming for him, he knows. He also knows that every NBA head coach, no matter how successful, has been criticized.
The increasingly harsh criticisms of Kerr's game management are not his biggest issue. This is his contribution to the fire. The trend is minor but worrisome.
Under three weeks after youngster Trayce Jackson-Davis was finally given substantial minutes, Kuminga was benched. Kerr admitted the mistake the day after replacing a productive Moody during a fourth-quarter meltdown in Sacramento on Nov. 28.
Golden State's star perimeter defender Gary Payton II watched from the bench as Lakers player Lonnie Walker IV fried the Warriors for 15 points in the fourth quarter of Game 4 of the Western Conference playoffs in May. Moody was benched seven months later.
These concerns tend to develop and get compounded when the Warriors can't find answers and spend the first half of the season around.500.
Kerr is one of the league's most successful coaches, winning four titles in his first eight seasons with the Warriors, but he's never been more prone to making odd decisions that rankle Golden State's players and fans. For Kerr, his staff, and the roster, winning regularly is the best solution.