There’s no denying the chemistry bubbling between the Los Angeles Lakers’ rookie duo of Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma. It began in Las Vegas during summer league and has carried forward into the regular season, where the two are now starting together.
“I think it just starts off the floor. I feel like if you're close off the floor, and you can relate off the floor, it's a little bit easier on the court because you understand where people are coming from, and the goals that we each have are pretty similar,” Kuzma said when asked to describe his bond with Ball after practice Monday.
“For me and him, we want to be great, and on the court it's like yin yang pretty much. We have a type of vibe that goes together.”
El Segundo is filled with rave reviews from Kuzma, including from Ball himself, who also pointed to Kyle’s off-court demeanor and presence as
“I think it's just his character,” Ball said of Kuzma. “Off the court he's a great person, on the court he's gonna play hard, so you put those two together and he's a great teammate. It started in summer league and it just picked up from there.”
Having similar interests doesn’t hurt while building a friendship, either.
“We watch the same stuff, play the same video games, like the same music,” Ball said.
Case in point? Both rookies have yet to embark on their journey through Westeros, and both are planning on adding Game of Thrones as part of their television viewing schedule while on the road.
Whether it’s the two spending time after practice playing a little lighthearted one-on-one, Kuzma teasing that his answers to media are far more interesting than Lonzo’s, or the eventual text messages they’ll send each other as they watch HBO’s hit series play out, these two are the peanut butter and jelly of the rookie class.
“[Ball’s] answers are really short, stout. I'm pretty sure you guys don't like his answers anyway... they're OK, but they're boring,” Kuzma joked. “[Mine are] more vibrant than his.”
And while it’s great to see the two growing as friends off the court, it’s important to have people you can trust while you’re on the court. Kuzma is comfortable being critical of Ball, and clear lines of communication from a trusted confidant can go a long way.
“I always try to help him, especially if he's been a little down in the South a little bit with the season he's having. Of course he wants to play a lot better... just trying to tell him to be more aggressive on the floor. With him being a threat, helps us out, and makes us a pretty tough guard,” Kuzma said.
From Las Vegas, to Los Angeles, to the Lakers’ first real road trip of the season, the Lonzo-Kuzma show is coming to a city near you.
*All quotes transcribed via Lakers.com