Kris Dunn is the real deal

Kris Dunn created havoc on defense and brought the ‘oohs and aahs’ when he broke JaKarr Sampson’s ankles in his Summer League debut, but his most impressive characteristic has been his willingness to become a student of the game.

“I know it’s going to be a rollercoaster ride throughout the season, I’m going to have some good games and some bad games but we just have to improve,” Dunn told reporters after his second Summer League game. “I understand I’m a rookie and I still have to learn a lot more about the game.”

The humbleness and maturity to admit he has long ways to go is something basketball fanatics can appreciate.

The game of basketball comes easy to Dunn but the mental aspect will be the challenge and it has for many rookies throughout the years. That’s what separates the average ones from the soon-to-be stars in the NBA.

“I’ve been through a lot of adversity in my life, the basketball part of it I think is the easiest,” said a confident Dunn.

If you know anything about Dunn’s background story, it will definitely help him get through the rookie wall most first-year players face.

This interview conducted by Marc Spears on Dunn’s background story was really well done and it will make you become a huge fan of Dunn’s perseverance.


The tangibles he possesses as a rookie and his performances at the Summer League have quickly opened eyes everywhere. His size, length and quickness are two big reasons why he’s playing so well on offense and defense but his effort has been what I’ve noticed to be what has separated him from any of the rookies who went in the top 10.

In this possession, Dunn uses his speed and quickness to spin into the middle and shake-off a very good physical defender in Norman Powell and a big man attempting a double team. Typically, rookies are not supposed to be this poised or under control, but Dunn certainly is and did it against an NBA talent.

Sometimes effort is overlooked and it shouldn’t. Future Hall-of-Famer George Karl, who I had the pleasure of covering last season, would always say that effort is a skill.

I agree, and Dunn has displayed lots of effort in his two summer league games by constantly fighting through screens, hustling back on transition defense and motivating his teammates by clapping and being vocal.

He is averaging 24 points and four assists in his first two games. It has been extremely easy for him to get inside the paint and either create offense for himself or facilitate for his teammates.

Dunn has shown the ability to be a floor general by taking advantage of his court vision over smaller guards and his hesitation dribble in the pick-and-roll to create space for his smooth jump shot or the drop off pass to one of his teammates rolling to the lane. Dunn has also finished well in traffic, bringing out comparisons to the lighting-fast John Wall.

“John Wall is a great player, if I can be compared to John Wall and be at his stature, it’s almost a blessing for me,” Dunn said. “That means I’m doing something good but other than that, I’m my own player.”

With Ricky Rubio on the roster, it will either help Dunn’s development by not putting so much pressure on him as a rookie to run the team or it may have the opposite affect. It will cut into his playing time, which may affect his confidence as the future starting point guard of a team that has been searching for consistency in that position.

Dunn is not your ordinary point guard who has one year of experience in college. He is ready to make an impact now and it will be interesting to see how the Minnesota Timberwolves approach the situation.

Rubio has reportedly been on the trading block, which can potentially bring in another position of need for Minnesota and open up the point guard spot for Dunn and have Tyus Jones back him up, who has played well running the show in Dunn’s absence the past four summer league games. Jones was recently named the 2016 Summer League MVP, which bodes well for the second year guard and the confidence his team will put on him.


Whatever ends up happening with the point guard long-jam, the Timberwolves have a good problem to have and an up-and-coming star who loves the game of basketball and is willing to take the necessary steps to strive for greatness.


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Leo Beas
Leo Beas is the Managing Editor of Cowbell Kingdom. He strives to provide independent, reliable, accurate, and comprehensive information that gives NBA fans a trusted voice when covering their team.

1 Reply to "Kris Dunn is the real deal"

  • comment-avatar
    July 27, 2016 (4:30 am)

    “You have to think the game,” Dunn says, recalling the lesson. “I’m a lot smarter now. I’m not playing out of control like I used to, when I first came in. I’m thinking the game more.”

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