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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Articles tagged: Kyle Kuzma

Kyle Kuzma taking on leadership role with Lakers

Kyle Kuzma

Kyle Kuzma may only be 23 and have just two years of NBA experience, but that’s not stopping him from taking on a leadership role with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Danny Green, who agreed to a two-year, $30 million contract with the Lakers in free agency, spoke on his “Inside The Green Room” podcast Tuesday and praised Kuzma for the leadership he’s already shown.

“Kuz has taken kind actually kind of a leadership role for a young guy and putting us together. He put a little group chat together, make sure everyone knew whose number was who. He reached out to let everybody know where to be in the summer,” Green said.

Green also credited LeBron James for helping him remain patient throughout the free agency process. Green was one of the players in limbo until Kawhi Leonard announced his decision.

The Lakers traded away most of their players during the offseason — first to New Orleans for Anthony Davis, and then to Washington to clear more salary cap space for a third max player. Kuzma was one of the few remaining players the Lakers kept, along with LeBron. That makes him a core player and likely explains why he took on that role. But in the days after Kawhi Leonard’s move to the Clippers was announced, the Lakers brought back several members from last season’s team, including Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, and Alex Caruso, so they will have some continuity despite having a new coach and mostly a new roster.

Kyle Kuzma laughs at Knicks over Kevin Durant decision

Kyle Kuzma

Things could not have gotten any more embarrassing for the New York Knicks than the result of this year’s free agency.

The Brooklyn Nets are landing Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan in free agency, making them officially the team in New York rather than the Knicks. The Knicks cleared all sorts of salary cap space to prepare for this summer, even trading away Kristaps Porzingis to make room for a second max contract slot. And they end up with nothing, while in a most embarrassing fashion, the newcomer in the town gets the two players they wanted.

Kyle Kuzma, who is on the Los Angeles Lakers, laughed at the Knicks’ misfortune via Twitter:

It’s not really about the Knicks not catching breaks. This is their own undoing. They have an awful owner who constantly embarrasses himself publicly and makes the team look horrible. They’ve been mismanaged for years. Maybe this might be somewhat of a wake-up call for the franchise.

Report: Lakers willing to trade Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram for Davis

Lonzo Ball

The Los Angeles Lakers are involved in trade talks with the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis, and some information about players they’re willing to include in a deal is being reported.

The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported on Wednesday that the Lakers are willing to include Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram in deals, as well as the No. 4 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. Interestingly, Stein says it seems like the Lakers are trying to keep Kyle Kuzma out of trade talks.

During the reported trade talks between the Lakers and Pelicans prior to the trade deadline earlier this season, the Lakers were said to have made nearly everyone on their roster available, including Kuzma. It’s unclear whether their mind has changed, Magic Johnson’s resignation, or any other factor is playing a role in this.

Kuzma and Ball are under team control for an extra year over Ingram, who was drafted the year before. Kuzma is also the cheapest of the three and a relative bargain at his salary. He is on schedule to earn about a third of what Ball will be earning on his rookie deal.

The big kicker that could affect a trade is the No. 4 pick. Stein believes if the Pelicans feel they can draft a potential All-Star with the pick, they would find a way to make a deal.

Kyle Kuzma: Media making NBA, Lakers out to be Jerry Springer

Kyle Kuzma

The Los Angeles Lakers were once again at the center of the sports media universe on Tuesday when an explosive story about Magic Johnson’s brief tenure as president of basketball operations was published, and at least one member of the team seems to think there has been a bit of sensationalism.

Kyle Kuzma’s name was one of the few not mentioned in Baxter Holmes’ piece, but the Lakers forward shared his thoughts anyway. Kuzma tweeted that the media is making the NBA out to be like “The Jerry Springer Show.”

We don’t know about Jerry Springer, but the drama that has gone on with the Lakers over the past several years would certainly make for a great reality TV show — even if only half of what has been reported is accurate. We’ve already had current and former employees say Johnson drove them to therapy with his leadership style and a general manager who told a baffling lie about Kobe Bryant, so there has been plenty of drama to keep people interested.

Until the Lakers start winning again, these types of stories are not going to go away. They thought signing LeBron James would take care of everything, but that was not the case in his first season in LA. If the results are similar next year, look out.

Why Kyle Kuzma says Max Kellerman needs to be drug tested

Max Kellerman

Whatever outrage factor ESPN’s “First Take” lost with the departure of Skip Bayless has been fulfilled by Max Kellerman lately.

Kellerman argued on “First Take” Thursday that James Harden does not deserve to be a first-team All-NBA selection, which he was named later in the day.

The opinion was so outrageous that Los Angeles Lakers youngster Kyle Kuzma said talk show hosts need to start being drug tested.

We don’t disagree.

Kellerman is the same person who also recently said Larry Fitzgerald is not a Hall of Famer. Fitzgerald is second all-time in career receiving yards, sixth in career receiving touchdowns, and led the league twice in receptions and receiving touchdowns. The only way in which Fitzgerald is not a Hall of Famer is if your Hall of Fame includes only one receiver, and that’s Jerry Rice.

Similarly, Harden averaged over 36 points per game this season — the 7th most ever and the most by a player not named Wilt Chamberlain or Michael Jordan. He was the biggest driving force in the Rockets’ success this season. Even if you want to say he didn’t deliver in the postseason, keep in mind that to this point, Houston still gave the Warriors the best challenge of any team in the playoffs. Holding his performance against them in the playoffs against him is being highly selective.

Oh, and we must also note that Kellerman had LeBron James as first-team All-NBA this season over Harden even though LeBron only played in 55 games, missed the playoffs, and helped divide his team. There was a good argument that James didn’t even deserve his third-team All-NBA nomination. Yet Kellerman wants to have him on the first team over Harden. Laughable.

Kuzma is right. Unfortunately some TV shows exist only to outrage. Mission accomplished on this one, Max.

Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma day-to-day with sprained ankle

Kyle Kuzma

Kyle Kuzma is reportedly day-to-day with a sprained ankle.

Kuzma sprained his ankle in the fourth quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Clippers on Monday night. X-rays after his injury were negative. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, an MRI on Kuzma’s ankle came back clean, and the forward is day-to-day.

The fading Lakers are shorthanded. Kuzma will miss the team’s game on Wednesday. They already are without Lonzo Ball, while Lance Stephenson, Tyson Chandler and Brandon Ingram are all questionable for the game.

Trying to climb back into the playoff race already seemed unlikely for LA and is even less likely with Kuzma sidelined.

Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma expected to miss next game with sprained ankle

Kyle Kuzma

The Los Angeles Lakers have now added injury to the insult of losing at home to the Los Angeles Clippers.

On top of losing at Staples Center 113-105 to their intra-city rivals on Monday night, Kyle Kuzma hurt his ankle. The second-year forward exited midway through the fourth quarter after turning his ankle by the baseline on a cut to the basket.

X-rays on Kuzma’s ankle turned out negative. Still, Lakers head coach Luke Walton said he does not expect Kuzma to play in the team’s next game, which is on Wednesday against the Nuggets.

The Lakers were without Brandon Ingram on Monday due to a shoulder injury. Lonzo Ball remains out due to his ankle. And now Kuzma may miss some time with his ankle injury.

It keeps getting uglier for the Lakers, who were booed by their fans on Monday night.