Los Angeles Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma has spent a good chunk of his offseason in TV studios, with one of his latest stops being ESPN’s “First Take.”
During his debut appearance on the popular ESPN show, Kuzma talked about his rookie season with the Lakers and playing alongside Lonzo Ball, who host Stephen A. Smith said wasn’t assertive enough in his rookie season. However, Kuzma defended his teammate, saying the Ball’s “throwback” style of play is just under appreciated (via “First Take.”):
“It’s just a different pace,” Kuzma said. “Every point guard in this league now is a scoring type of guy, someone that sets the table for themselves first, but with him, he’s such a throwback player that it was just different to play with and for everyone’s perception, having a pass-first point guard in today’s NBA is not really heard of.”
Kuzma did acknowledge that Ball has a lot of room to grow as a scorer this summer, but he said that the former No. 2 overall pick has the support of the entire organization behind him as he heads into what Magic Johnson called “the biggest summer of [their] lives.”
“For us, we definitely want him to be more aggressive, especially down the stretch,” Kuzma said. “He caught his wind and caught the nuances the NBA game and got more and more comfortable. That’s one thing this offseason I’m sure he’s working on and Magic and Rob and Luke, everybody’s in his corner supporting him to have a breakout summer and have a breakout year next season.”
We’ve seen summer workout videos from Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram so far this offseason. Once Kuzma is done with his Kuzmania Media Tour, I’m sure he’ll be back in the gym too.