When LeBron James signed with the Lakers he knew what he was getting into. In fact, he liked what he saw even before he got there and now the team signed several more players.
“I love the young guys that they have,” James said, via ESPN.”I believe Rob [Pelinka] and Magic [Johnson] and Jeanie [Buss] have done an unbelievable job of reshaping what the organization should be, keeping Dr. Buss’ dreams and what he was all about, to keep that going.”
Kyle Kuzma is one of those young guys and could be a key running mate to James over the next four years. He isn’t letting the compliment go to his head though.
“LeBron is a Mount Rushmore player in NBA history, so for him to say he’s a fan of my game is a great compliment,” Kuzma said, via NBA.com. “But you also have to take it with a grain of salt, because you don’t want to get caught up in that. For me, it’s great, I love it, but keep working. Keep letting him love my game.”
The Lakers drafted Kuzma in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft alongside Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart. It was Kuzma, though, who got all the attention as a potential Rookie of the Year candidate as he averaged 16.1 points and 6.3 rebounds in 2017-18.
Los Angeles improved by nine wins last season and much of that had to do with their 2017 draft class. The Lakers now believe their 2018 free agent class, i.e. LeBron James, is going to make a marked difference. Kuzma knows he and his team are in a position to make a move.
“It means we’re going to win now,” Kuzma said. “Everybody, not only me, has to step it up. For me, I just want to be a great player, and that’s what it’s going to take. I’ve always been a self-motivated guy for basketball.”