As the Golden State Warriors faced the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, Steve Kerr couldn’t help but see some of rookie Jonathan Kuminga in Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Kuminga, at this stage of his career, boasts the athleticism and much of the same skillset that Antetokounmpo did as a rookie during the 2013-14 season. In fact, Kuminga may be a bit more filled out than Antetokounmpo was at that point.
Antetokounmpo and the Bucks dominated the Warriors, cruising to a 118-99 victory after leading by as many as 39 points. Antetokounmpo finished with his third triple-double of the season, tallying 30 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in 30 minutes of work.
The performance by Antetokounmpo certainly had a lasting impression on the Warriors, who have lost four out of their last five games. For Kuminga, watching one of the greats can also have a lasting impression and resonate for a long time.
Kerr can see a comparison between the two players.
When you look at where Giannis is now, and you think about him as a rookie, you got to think about J.K. Total inexperience, not much knowledge of the NBA, not much understanding of what’s going on yet but that’s exactly where Giannis was a decade ago or whenever it was when he first came into the league.
Of course, Antetokounmpo eventually elevated his game to become a five-time NBA All-Star, two-time NBA MVP and NBA champion. He put in countless hours of work to reach that level and, shockingly enough, still seems to be getting better each time he steps onto the court.
As Antetokounmpo did his damage to the Warriors, Kuminga was mostly on the bench. He had a front-row view to watching Antetokounmpo work and Kerr hopes that is something Kuminga and the rest of the Warriors can learn from.
I don’t know that there is a more athletic, physically-imposing player in the league than Giannis and he has learned how to use that athleticism and size to really takeover games. There is plenty for our young guys to pick up watching him play.
With the Bucks up handily, Kuminga had the opportunity to log significant playing time. He finished with 15 points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes of work as Kerr was thoroughly impressed when Kuminga was on the court in the fourth quarter.
Kuminga entered the NBA draft oozing potential given his physical tools and athleticism on the court. Reaching the level of Antetokounmpo is a lofty comparison but perhaps the Bucks cornerstone can serve as one example for Kuminga to strive for.
This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!