Los Angeles Lakers rookies Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball made the All-NBA first and second teams, respectively, Tuesday, and both are already back in the team’s practice facility getting ready for the coming season.
According to Kuzma, that’s no accident.
“Consistency in the weight room. That’s the biggest thing,” Kuzma said when asked what he’s seen from Ball so far during the offseason. “He’s been in (the weight room) pretty much every day I’ve been in here around this time, and you can tell he’s taking the weight room a lot more seriously. That’s going to help him by allowing him to recover faster and hopefully next year be on the court more.”
Ball missed 30 games during his rookie season, something that was surely a factor in him only making the second team for rookies, rather than the first. Lakers trainer Gunnar Peterson has already detailed how the team is going to help Ball get stronger, and as Kuzma says, durability is one of the ways that strength can be applied practically.
Ball — and all of the young core — will need to work on more than just one thing this offseason if they want to improve for next season, but both Kuzma and Ball already being back in the gym is a promising sign that they’re aware of that reality.
And while Ball’s weight room workouts might not be getting as much attention as Kuzma’s shootarounds in front of the media, it sounds like he’s working hard anyway, which should at the very least slightly reassure the fans in the comments section and my Twitter mentions complaining about Ball’s work ethic.