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Lakers News: Kyle Kuzma thanks The Rock for helping him pack on muscle this summer

Kyle Kuzma was apparently pretty inspired by The Rock giving the Lakers his “Genius Talk,” and is adding a bunch of muscle as a result.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When the Dwayne Johnson, better known as “The Rock,” came to give the Los Angeles Lakers one of the team’s “Genius Talks” a few months ago, it was unclear what young players like Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart would get out of the session.

Would this latest celebrity that Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson had brought to share their life experiences with the team inspire the players to greatness or trigger something in them? Would The Rock be able to give the team tips on success that they could use?

It’s not immediately clear what The Rock’s inspirational as hell speech did for the majority of the team, but we are seeing one side effect of it now: Kyle Kuzma is getting ripped, something he thanked The Rock for on Instagram:

Yo @therock appreciate the tips on summer gainz

A post shared by Kyle Kuzma (@kuz) on

For comparison, here is a picture of Kuzma at Las Vegas Summer League almost a year ago:

2017 Las Vegas Summer League - Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

So yeah, Kuzma appears to have made some progress on the muscle-building front, even if Brook Lopez couldn’t resist ribbing him in the comments:

Image via Kyle Kuzma’s Instagram account, Graphic via Christian Rivas / Silver Screen and Roll

Lopez needing to tone down his roasts on social media aside, Kuzma adding muscle like this would seem to vibe with his summer goal of working on his post moves, and our own Pete “Laker Film Room” Zayas took a look at how that type of development could help him a few weeks ago:

Kuzma had a tremendous rookie season as an individual shot creator, finishing amongst the best players in the NBA in isolation (1.12 PPP, 92nd percentile) and post up situations (1.01 PPP, 85th percentile). Despite his successes, he’s been working with assistant coach Miles Simon at the UCLA Health Training Center to elevate his post up game to even greater heights.

The 2018 NBA playoffs have shown the importance of being able to exploit mismatches, as defenses switch more and more as a means of disrupting motion offenses that rely on off-ball screens or teams that rely on their point guards to create quality shot opportunities via the pick & roll.

Kyle Kuzma has all of the tools necessary to make teams pay for putting an undersized guard on him, and the work that he puts in this summer will go a long way toward fulfilling that potential.

What’s amazing about this news is that now, if Kuzma does bully players in the post, we can actually credit The Rock. That is not a sentence I ever expected to type, but here we are.

We’ll see if the muscle helps Kuzma next season, or if this is another situation like when Kobe Bryant put on a ton of muscle and then shed all of it because he was concerned it was messing with his jumper. Only time (and the results of Kuzma’s jumpers) will tell.

You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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