When Los Angeles Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma got news that he had been named to the 2018 NBA All-Rookie First Team, he was at the same place he’s been almost the entire offseason: The gym.
Coming off of a surprisingly productive rookie season, Kuzma’s been practically living at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo in hopes of coming back even better next season when the expectations will be higher for both him and the Lakers. Luckily, Kuzma has those same high expectations for himself.
“I want to be a really good player in this league, one of the top players,” Kuzma said (via Lakers.com). “That comes with being out here working and being consistent and diligent in the work ... Just coming in, lifting and being on the court. That’s pretty much a mandatory type thing. Everybody should be doing that and I think, for the most part, everybody is.”
Kuzma said he’s been in the gym for the last three weeks, every day, twice a day. While he admitted his teammates aren’t in the gym as often as he is, he’s confident they’re doing something.
“It’s just me,” Kuzma said. “Of course, guys are working but not everyone’s working out here like I am. I’m one of the few guys. B.I.’s wherever he is, I don’t know where he’s at. He fell off the grid a little bit but I know he’s working, Zo as well.”
Kuzma won’t participate in this year’s Summer League, as decided by president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, so we’re still a few months away from seeing what he added to his game. However, with the amount of time he’s spent in the gym, there’s little doubt he’ll come back a better player next season.
You can follow Christian Rivas on Twitter at @RadRivas.