GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS MEDIA CONFERENCE
July 30, 2021
San Francisco, California, USA
TIM ROYE: We'd like to welcome you today for our press conference. My name is Tim Roye, and for the last 26 years I've had one of the great jobs in the world, and that is to be the radio announcer for the Golden State Warriors, and glad you're out here tonight to meet our two newest Warriors.
Welcome to everyone watching online at NBC Sports Bay Area, warriors.com, and listening on our radio flagship, our partner 95.7 The Game. Let me introduce the people here on stage.
Far to my left, Warriors general manager Bob Myers. Next to him, Jonathan Kuminga, the seventh pick in the 2021 draft. And next to me is Moses Moody from Arkansas, the No. 14 pick overall in last night's NBA Draft.
I have some family members to introduce. Down to my right, we have Moses' parents Kareem and Rona, brother Miles, and agent reps from Klutch Sports, Rich and Georgia. Welcome today to our press conference.
I know, Jonathan, you have some people here as well. I don't see them seated, but I know that your brother, Joel, is here, your assistant Gianni is here as well. So we welcome them to the proceedings.
Last night, a big night for the Golden State Warriors, two picks in the lottery. Bob Myers, I know that we're in an era of instant gratification, and I know you really can't judge anything off the first opinion, but I did read on ESPN.com that somebody was giving you an A last night.
BOB MYERS: Hopefully that doesn't turn into an F. I'll blame you guys right here.
No, it's exciting. It's different now with -- these guys are 18 years old, both 18. I can't believe how young you both are. It's a testament to your hard work, to your family.
Getting to know both of you over the last couple weeks, it's not like we know each other that well, but I'm impressed by both of you. Thank you to mom and dad and Joel, your brother. You both did a great job. I wish I could meet your mom and dad one day.
But we're excited. I talk about the character first because that's what's going to make that A grade stick or not. It's going to be what they do from here on out, not what they've done so far. So we're excited, excited to hand them off to our coaches. I can't make them better now, but they certainly can. It should be fun. Summer league is starting in like 15 minutes. We've got to get ready.
TIM ROYE: And don't forget free agency starts in a day or so, too. What an advanced schedule. Jonathan, I wanted to ask you, because you're at the start of a journey but you just completed one to get to this point. What's that journey been like for you, and has this moment sunk in to you yet?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: I will just say my journey been real good, you know. I've been through this process since I left home. This is part of the journey, so I'm just working hard to get to where I want to go.
TIM ROYE: Moses, I guess the same kind of question for you. Obviously, it's a family thing. You bring along the family with you on this journey. What's it been like for you to have their support through all this?
MOSES MOODY: My family support's been everything. They've been with me since day one, and they've been with me through this process. I do feel like oftentimes people are too focused on the goal when they kind of miss out on the journey, but this is a time where I feel like we can really take a step back and appreciate all we've done and close this chapter, because we're headed on to a new one.
TIM ROYE: Yeah, the work begins. For the assembled press here, we have some people who have microphones. We have Cole over here. Brett is in the back as well. Just raise your hand. They will come to you with a question.
Bob, I wanted to ask you again, just kind of give a rundown, what attracted you to these two talents?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, a lot. They're different players. I don't know if you guys played against each other ever, but different, and that's good for us. We want players that complement each other. What attracted us most, Tim, was what they are now and what we hope they can be -- the skill set, the physical makeup of both of them, the size, the length, the fact that we believe they're both going to work very hard.
We think they fit our culture. And to be honest, wings are the hardest thing to find in the NBA, whether in the Draft or free agency. I mean, you watch the playoffs. It's become a position that has a high premium, and to get two guys like this that hopefully can play as long as kind of Steph and Klay did together would be a dream come true for us and for them.
We'll see, Tim. I've been up here with guys and it's been great; sometimes it doesn't work. But I have high hopes. I don't want to have two lottery picks up here anymore. That means we didn't make the playoffs. That's not your guys' fault. That's our fault.
But you're coming to a good place. We're going to need you guys. Not right away. If you can play right away, great, but at some point you'll be the veterans. We're to watch them grow, Tim. And if they can help us now, that would be great. I think we have practice tomorrow, so we'll see how conditioned they are, ready to go.
TIM ROYE: Well, when we're done here, we'll go outside to Thrive City and we'll meet some of the fans and have them Draft and meet some fans and have them talk to our draft picks as well.
Outside of Thrive City at the Draft met some great fans from Oracle, including Christina. Also want to than Toby, Ariel, Lisa, Terry, Robert. Thank you for your support and thank you for being a longtime partner with the Golden State Warriors. We appreciate having you here, and it was great to see you guys out there last night and having some fun at the draft party.
Let's talk a Little bit, Moses. I have to ask this question because I was here when he was coaching here. There is a passion about Eric Musselman coaching at Arkansas, and he had that same passion here. What was that like for you?
MOSES MOODY: I mean, it's a lot of fun playing with a coach that that's invested in the game. You can feel that passion, and the team kind of feeds off of it. Energy like that, it gets contagious, and we all had that same drive throughout the game.
TIM ROYE: Did he ever tell you specifically some things to work on to take your game to the next level?
MOSES MOODY: Yeah, before the season, some things that he really wanted me to focus on is making the open shots. We'll worry about the contested shots and all those later, but he wanted to focus on making the open shots.
Also, rebounding is something I put a lot of attention on early in the season because that was something he said he wanted me to focus on to elevate my game.
Q. Jonathan, how much was the time with the Ignite, how much was the development process something that you thrived on? Not only on the court to prepare, but off the court, some of the things that you got out of that. Moses, to follow up on Tim's question for you, how did Eric Musselman prepare you, or since you've been drafted even, talking with him about what's it like going to Golden State?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: Basically, going to a G League is the thing I wanted to do since I was in high school, so when I got to the G League I feel like they prepared me to do pretty much everything on and off the court. Especially having like Jarrett Jack, Amari Jones, and coaches that have been in the league before, like Brian Shaw.
So I felt like that was a good decision I made in my life to go out there, prepare me to be more mature off the court, on the court, and just know how to take care of myself around everybody.
MOSES MOODY: Mainly the things the Coach has done since the season to help me and be ready for the Golden State environment, he talked a lot about the people. That's not necessarily just saying the coaching staff, even though that is something he has talked highly about, but just the environment, all the people around, the whole atmosphere.
That's something I'm excited for and that I got a good feel for it all the way up through this process.
Q. This is for both rookies. You guys are coming into a situation where this team wants to contend for titles. How do you guys mentally prepare for that? And you guys have not been a part of the NBA before. How do you mentally prepare for something you haven't been a part of yet?
MOSES MOODY: We've still been playing the game for a while. We like to win. I don't see a better situation than going into a team that also does a good job with that. I mean, we're young guys, so I'm definitely going to try to develop and see how I can fit and help the team do what they want to do. But early on in my career, that's what it's about, finding my spot.
JONATHAN KUMINGA: Basically, like you say, there's going to be a lot of expectations for both of us as a rookie and as a team to go into The Finals, right? But here we're just going to work hard and do whatever the coach wants us to do to help the team to win.
Q. Jonathan, again, congratulations. What does it mean to you to be one of just a handful of Congo-born players to make it to the NBA?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: That means a lot. You know, basically the hometown where I came from, if you see back in the history of the NBA, there's not that many people that got to the NBA from there. So I feel like I'm the first person, and I got that chip on my back. That's why I'll always work hard to make everybody proud from where I come from.
TIM ROYE: Bob, I wanted to ask you, obviously, Joe Lacob was down front, and I see Larry Harris in the back. Talk about the collaborative effort that you guys have had to do, especially over the last couple of years because of the pandemic and how it's made it more difficult to kind of do your job.
BOB MYERS: I would argue, Tim, we've spent too much time together lately. Can't spend that much time with people. Collaboration is a kind word. There's also debate. There's disagreement. But I love our process. It's not just those two guys. It's Kirk Lacob, Kent Lacob, Mike Dunleavy. We've got a great group of scouts. We involved Kenny Atkinson in this process. I don't know if he's here, but he felt like he was part of their front office.
We really do value everyone's opinion, not just Joe or myself. We give people room to speak without judgment. Ultimately we have to make decisions, but that's my favorite part of the job. Hopefully, we got this stuff right, but who you work with, who you get to be around, that's what makes any job fun, and I love this part.
I love this part of the year. It's really hard. It's exhausting. There's stress. Half the people say you did a good job, half the people say you didn't, but who you do it with gives you confidence in your decisions.
I'm fortunate to have such a great support staff and everybody that I get to work with. We're really team oriented, so it's not just me making the decisions.
Q. Moses, Bobby Portis just won a title. Joe Johnson's still cooking in big three. You get drafted No. 7. What's going on with the Little Rock hoop scene, and what built you?
MOSES MOODY: I think we're getting a little bit of recognition for what's there. I mean, there's a lot of good players there. It's a hard journey just given -- like I've been in L.A. training and doing some of the best training that I've done in my life, but I'm in the gym with guys that's third, fourth grade, so they're getting that work since that.
But we're in Arkansas, so it's kind of a disadvantage and it makes you want to work that much harder, but we got here. The guys that have done great things, they give back to the city and show a lot of love. That's definitely something I admire about Joe Johnson, because coming up he was in the league but still playing in local leagues and putting on tournaments. So that's something I really do admire about him.
Q. Do either of you have any connections with current players on the Warriors? Moses, I know you've talked a little bit about Draymond, and have you had any conversations the last 24 hours or so?
MOSES MOODY: Yeah, Draymond texted me saying welcome to the family, those kinds of things. I talked to both Steph and Klay. They were both at one of my workouts. So I talked to them a little bit afterwards.
TIM ROYE: Jonathan, I wanted to ask you a question about playing in the G League because you had a chance to play with a former Warrior Jarrett Jack who was here right at the beginning of our great run, and you played for Brian Shaw, who was also at Oakland and a former Warrior, albeit a short time. Was there anything specific you learned from them or that they talked to you about to try to make you a better player?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: I'll go with Jarrett Jack. Being around Jarrett Jack means a lot. He used to coach me pretty much every day, talking to me every time. During the game you could hear him on the bench, Yeah, J.K., like, you're doing good.
He was helping me with the pace of my game. Coming out of high school to the G League, different pace, so he was really like a mentor to me. Especially Brian Shaw in practice always pushing me and helping me pretty much in every little thing that I needed to become more successful and the best I can be.
TIM ROYE: Did Jarrett Jack ever show you his shoe collection?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: Yeah, yeah, he FaceTimed me one day when he was back home, and he had shoes all over, like all over the house, not just in the closet.
TIM ROYE: He's crazy. He's got one of the best ever.
Q. For each of you, what do you feel like your skill for the NBA, NBA ready is most right now?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: I'll say -- well, you know, I'm still 18 years old, but I work hard and we're going to see what the future holds for us, but I feel like we're both ready to go out there and compete as hard as we can.
MOSES MOODY: Yeah, I'll probably say my most transferable skill is shooting. That's what I do, and I feel like that's what I invest a lot of time in.
So I feel like that's a skill that can really translate. Other than that, I do feel like I'm adaptable and I can make it work depending on the situation and really figure it out.
So those are two skills that I think will help me and carry me along through this journey.
Q. Last night Bob said that Draymond pushed to get both of you all in the building. What's it feel like to have that endorsement? Do you feel kind of pressure that Draymond is like, I want them; is there pressure to perform when he pushes for you all?
MOSES MOODY: Yeah, it's definitely a good feeling, especially with Draymond. He's not going to show -- hide his emotions. He's going to keep it real at all times. Someone that genuinely feels that way about us and knows so much about the game and a guy that's done as much as he's done, to really believe in us, that's definitely extra pride and motivation.
Q. This question is for both of you. Who would you guys say you grew up trying to emulate your game after? Just a couple of guys.
JONATHAN KUMINGA: Just me growing up back home in Africa, you know, we didn't get a chance to watch so many people like that. So growing up, there was Kobe, still a legend. That's the only guy that was really like legendary and well-known pretty much, and I think that's the only guy I really used to watch and try to emulate my game to him.
MOSES MOODY: It was a lot of different guys that I like to take different bits and pieces from. I did like Kobe. I liked Kevin Durant, Steph Curry. Just different things from different guys. Devin Booker is a guy I really like. C.J. McCollum, DeMar DeRozan in the mid range.
TIM ROYE: Good guys to like. Jonathan, you had an encounter with Bismack Biyombo that really put you on a path. Could you talk about that?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: I didn't get to a chance to talk to Bismack like that. I met him because I used to go to school with his little brother and stuff. That's the only time I like got to really talk to him.
Q. Bob, when you consider the way a draft goes, and in every draft situation maybe there's a little wrinkle here and there. What was it like last night?
BOB MYERS: We don't usually have two picks in the lottery. It's pretty uncommon. You never quite know. I see what the media sees. I see what the fans see. You're wondering who's going to go before you or who's going to maybe go after you. I had no idea that either of these guys would be there when we picked.
But we do our board, Tim, we have our rankings, and we just follow that. It's still fun. It's the job, but we like watching the draft just like anybody else. Love watching the players in their suits. I can't pull some of these -- well, I could wear what you're wearing, Moses. I could do that. But I don't think I've got this suit in my wardrobe here.
It was fun. I feel old, honestly, watching the draft. I sat at a lot of those green room tables 20 years ago with some players, and the outfits keep getting better and better. So it was a lot of fun. It made me feel old.
As far as our job, it's stressful, but it's fun, and we're just very happy with the result.
TIM ROYE: I saw a turtleneck last night. I can go back to my closet and dig some of those out.
Q. For both of you, how often have you been to the Bay Area, if at all, and what do you know about this area?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: When I went to the G League I used to stay in Walnut Creek. It's like 15 minutes. You've just got to cross the bridge and you're here, so I'm kind of familiar with the area.
Q. What do you think about it?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: I mean, it's a cool area, but by the time I was here there wasn't nobody. It was the pandemic time.
MOSES MOODY: I haven't been here too many times. I came through, had some tournaments and all, but I really do like the area, the weather. I got to go see the Golden Gate Bridge. That's the first thing I've got to do.
TIM ROYE: Moses, you came into this draft, you were thinking about what you wanted to do with your NBA career. Now that it's here, now that it's starting, what would you like to accomplish? What are the things you want to get better at right away?
MOSES MOODY: Right away, I would say definitely honing my skills that I feel got me in this chair, which is shooting, defense, and just playing with my head and small things like that.
But then I also want to expand on my game and work on creating my own shot and just playing within the flow of the game.
TIM ROYE: Jonathan, at what point did you realize that the NBA was a possibility, that there was a career there for you?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: My freshman year when I learned English and came to America, and when I saw just the process you've got to go through, and I felt like I was working hard, and I knew at some point I was going to be an NBA player.
BOB MYERS: Can I ask a question, Tim? You picked 00, and you picked 4. Why did you pick those numbers? I'm just curious.
JONATHAN KUMINGA: I'm usually 0, but I talked to one of the guys and they said I can't have it because someone else has it.
BOB MYERS: You can't take 0? We'll figure it out right now. Does anybody have that? Somebody's got it? I think you can have it if you want it. You've just got to buy it from me (laughter). No, we can talk about it.
But why 4, Moses?
MOSES MOODY: 4 is a number that I really do like. There's four members of my immediate family. There's four of me and my closest friends. It's just a number that keeps popping up in my life, so I like to represent that.
TIM ROYE: You talk about numbers. Some guys do it for superstition. Some guys do it because it's a number they've worn throughout their basketball career. You guys have a different reason. I would love to know, if you were to talk to, say, maybe a Steph Curry today, what would you tell him, Moses?
MOSES MOODY: In that conversation, I wouldn't be doing much talking. I'd really just be listening and trying to get as much game as he's willing to dish out.
TIM ROYE: Same question, Jonathan.
JONATHAN KUMINGA: Just let's get to work. I want to learn more from your experience.
Q. Jonathan, when you were in Walnut Creek with the Ignite, did you have any interactions with the Warriors organization, any players on the team?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: No, I didn't know anybody. I didn't know anything about it.
TIM ROYE: Moses, I wanted to ask you a little bit about your high school career because you were a high school teammate of Scottie Barnes and Mr. Cunningham. You guys didn't lose a game. You probably shouldn't have lost a game. But what was that like? And tell us how it all came together.
MOSES MOODY: It was a lot of fun. It was a great year. I actually was there, me and Cade, for two years. But that senior year we had four players get drafted in the first round, so that's a testament to see how much work we put in and how good the team was.
But even the guys that were there after we left, they won the national title, so that's the practice squad when we were at practice. That's who we were going against. It was competitive practices all the time.
Those one-on-one games after practice was just as competitive. Just in that environment we were forced to push each other and enjoy each other's success. That's something you can also see. We had a lot of fun throughout the year just because everybody was happy for everybody.
TIM ROYE: Have you heard from any of those guys?
MOSES MOODY: Oh, yeah, we were in the green room together so we talked all week. Since the draft -- those are my guys. We've got a group chat, so we've been talking ever since.
Q. Have you thought about goals for your rookie season? Would you be more excited to win rookie of the year or to get the Warriors back in the playoffs?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: To me, I don't worry about being rookie of the year. As long as we get to a certain point where the team wants to be, that's all that matters.
As long as we get to winning, that's all that matters.
The rookie of the year, that don't really matter.
MOSES MOODY: I'll take rookie of the year (laughter). No, I mean, it's really early in my career. I just want to establish that foundation and put a lot of work in to really propel me to have a long and healthy career.
TIM ROYE: It's okay, Moses. There are times you can get greedy in the NBA. You can have both. I want to thank all of our assembled press here today. I especially want to thank you guys, Moses and Jonathan. We're so thrilled to have you as members of the Golden State Warriors, and we're hoping to have this relationship with you guys for a long, long time and a lot of success in the years ahead. I'll be talking with you guys in a little bit.
But for our press, we have time to get ready for photo-ops. Thanks to our broadcast partners for tuning in and coming out today to welcome the new Warriors.
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