In mid-May, Ja Morant told Warriors youngster Jonathan Kuminga that he had to earn his stripes before talking smack. Just over a month later, and he’s an NBA Champion.
The 2022 Warriors championship had something the others were lacking in a sense — the youth movement, which offers a preview of what’s to come. If the Dubs can keep around the likes of Jordan Poole, James Wiseman, Moses Moody and others, then by no means does this have to be the last iteration of the Golden State run.
Kuminga’s role is relatively obvious — he’s a young slasher who can be a nasty defender at his best. While facing Memphis in the early stages of the NBA Playoffs, the 19-year-old playfully tweeted the Grizz ‘Whoop That’ slogan after a Dubs victory.
Whoop that ……. 🤪
— Jonathan Kuminga 🇨🇩 (@JonathanKuming6) May 14, 2022
In response, Morant didn’t take kindly. He simply said that Kuminga had to earn his stripes before making such a comment. He wasn’t Steph Curry, Draymond Green or Klay Thompson.
Technically, Morant isn’t wrong, despite being just 22 years of age himself.
Warriors: Jonathan Kuminga is a champion, while Ja Morant is not
Let’s not fool ourselves — Morant has a more promising NBA future than Kuminga and is the face of the Grizzlies franchise moving forward. Just because Kuminga has a ring, doesn’t mean he’ll outlast the Memphis basketball star or have a better career.
But, perhaps this can be a learning experience for Morant, as well. He’s still just 22 himself. Morant has a long way to go, and while establishing a feud and rivalry with the Dubs is fun for the average fan, Memphis still needs to add pieces around him before they’re on the same level as Golden State.
For his part, Morant still needs to earn his stripes, as well.