Being part of the Lakers organization, players have opportunities that other others around the league don’t have, like getting to have casual film sessions with Magic Johnson or grabbing lunch with Kobe Bryant. The network in Los Angeles is second to none, but only if you use it, like Kyle Kuzma has.
Kuzma was one of the few players that got to get a workout in with Bryant this summer, but Kuzma doesn’t need travel too far to be in the presence of greatness any longer. With LeBron James on his team now, Kuzma now has the chance to learn under the arguably the greatest player alive today.
Despite what their passionate fans might think, Kuzma doesn’t see a huge difference between the way James and Bryant are wired.
“It was great to get in the gym with Kobe,” Kuzma said. “He’s so particular about the details of the game and how and why things work. That’s one thing that I kind of love about him is that if you ask him something, he’s gonna tell you a, b, c and d and how that affects each play.”
Kuzma said “It’s the same with LeBron,” and explained why that makes sense.
“They’re great for a reason. They’re pretty much the same in that aspect in that they’re very meticulous in how they move on the court and what they do. They both take film and the weight room very serious and it’s evident. You don’t play how many years, Kobe played 20 and LeBron going on 16 looking like he’s in year eight. It’s great to be around greatness for me as I go along my journey in basketball,” Kuzma said.
But Kuzma recognizes that learning the game of basketball isn’t just working out with the biggest name players. Kuzma said he is going to try and soak up everything they can from the veteran players the Lakers surrounded him with this season as well.
“I want to be a great player, and the only way to do that is to one, work on your game and also try to be a sponge to players that have done it at the highest level and won. I’m just glad that we have guys like Rondo and LeBron that have done that for many, many years that I can learn from. I love to learn and I love to get better at basketball and they do too, so it’s kind of a perfect match,” Kuzma said.
Part of what has made Kuzma so easy to root for is how much work he puts into his game, not just on the court, but off the court. During the course of the regular season last year, Kuzma took every chance he got to get advice, whether it was from Vince Carter or Chris Bosh.
Yes, Kuzma is a gifted young offensive talent, but it’s his ability to learn that’s going to separate him from the rest of the pack. With mentors like James and Bryant, it’s not hard to imagine him becoming the Lakers’ next star.
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