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Kyle Kuzma says he tried to take ‘certain parts’ of his game from Kobe Bryant ever since he was a kid

Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma has close ties to the people whose names are on his favorite pairs of sneakers.

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NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Since being draft 27th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017, Kyle Kuzma has made it no secret that he is a huge fan of Kobe Bryant. He’s even drawn comparisons to the Mamba because of his fearlessness to take shots in crunch time and his tireless approach to the game.

Kuzma and Bryant have formed a relationship over the past few years, and last summer Kuzma got the opportunity to work on his game with Bryant. He’ll also be working at Bryant’s basketball camp this summer.

But while Kuzma and Bryant’s games are different, the 23-year-old forward said that he tries to borrow from Bryant’s on an episode of Complex’s “Sneaker Shopping”:

“I grew up as a Kobe fan. Ever since I was a young kid watching him play, I tried to take certain parts of my game from his. So for me, he was obviously a big part. Everybody knows that I wear Kobes, I’m looking here right now and I’m like a little kid in a candy store.”

Kuzma also likes to sport his teammate LeBron James’ shoes every now and then, and when he can, he tries to impress James with his shoe game:

“I have before. I actually wore a super rare shoe by him. It was a 2003, I forgot what shoe it was (Editor’s Note: It was the first shoes LeBron ever wore as an NBA player) but I walked in and it was his actual shoe that he wore during a preseason game. I walked in and I got on the bus, and I’m giddy like this, and he keeps looking at me. That’s the one time I probably wore something that really surprised him.”

Kuzma has access to some of the rarest shoes in the history of the NBA because of his unique partnership with the Sneaker app G.O.A.T., but that doesn’t make his shoe game any less cool.

Hopefully Kuzma is paying just as much attention to James’ game, and picking his brain while he can.

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