Kyle Kuzma tore through the rookie wall like a cannonball through tissue paper during his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers, going from almost dropping into the second-round to NBA All-Rookie first team and shattering preseason expectations along the way.
Kuzma’s play also outpaced virtual predictions for his value to the Lakers, as entering his rookie year he was only rated as a 72 overall by NBA 2K, one of the lowest ratings in the entire game.
After his stellar first year, Kuzma told NBA 2K’s Ronnie Singh that he was expecting a bump when NBA 2K19 releases.
“I think it should be at least an 80,” Kuzma said in a video.
Kuzma got his wish — or at least the bare minimum of it — because Singh told him that when 2K19 drops, Kuzma will be an 80 overall, something the star sophomore forward says he’ll “for sure” use as motivation.
”But hey, an 80’s an 80,” Kuzma added, although his body language and tone in the video were that of a child trying to talk themselves into socks being a cool birthday present when they expected a Nintendo Switch:
NBA players finding out their #NBA2K19 ratings. Get at me if you want them!@kuz gets his. Watch his reaction. LIKE his reaction?https://t.co/Cgyph7BdlU pic.twitter.com/H9APejtuRq— Ronnie 2K 2K19 (@Ronnie2K) August 8, 2018
Kuzma will get a chance to start proving 2K wrong when the Lakers take on the Portland Trail Blazers in their season opener on Oct. 18, and in his first season playing alongside LeBron James, Kuzma would seem to be a prime candidate to have his rating upgraded in a game update later in the year if his efficiency improves as it seems to have the potential to.
Even if Kuzma’s rating doesn’t get raised, at least it’s better than the 78 he got when his and Josh Hart’s preliminary ratings leaked, a rating Kuzma called “disrespectful” at the time (oh, what a difference two points can make). And more importantly for Kuzma, it’s higher than Hart’s, giving him slightly more ammunition in the two’s endless trash talk.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.