LeBron James is officially a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and while every one of his teammates are surely excited to play alongside him, no one should be more excited than Kyle Kuzma.
In his 15-year career, James has played with more than a handful of offensively gifted big men like Chris Bosh and Kevin Love, who were key players on James’ three championship rosters. However, James helped them as much as they helped him.
Both Bosh and Love enjoyed the highest true shooting percentages of their careers while playing with James, according to basketball-reference.com, and that’s no coincidence, considering both of them also had the highest assisted field goal percentage on teams with James on the roster. The same can be said of Jeff Green and Shane Battier as well.
Kuzma might not be the All-Star caliber player Bosh and Love were, but he’s shown early signs of someone who can one day be a special offensive talent. There is arguably no player in the league that can help Kuzma reach his potential and it sounds like the 22-year-old is ready to soak everything up.
In an interview with Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times, Kuzma talked about how excited he was to share the floor with the four-time league MVP:
“I’m gonna learn a lot,” Kuzma said. “I’m going to have a chance to be front and center with him every single day whether at practice or on the road I’m going to have a chance to pick his brain. He knows everything about how to, whether it’s in business or being a great basketball player.”
He also expressed his excitement to learn from James on Instagram:
According to Kuzma, he called James shortly after he signed his deal, but the conversation was “very short” because James was leaving the country.
Luckily, he and James will have at least the next three years to get acquainted, and as long as Kuzma’s hitting his shots, they’ll get along just fine. If not, Kuzma could be next J.R. Smith or even worse, the next Mario Chalmers.
For his sake, let’s hope he fares more like Love and Bosh than the latter two.