Kyle Kuzma may be an underrated part of the Los Angeles staff, but Jalen Rose thinks we are overlooking the young man as a vital part of the team’s roster.
As you may recall from our previous post on the matter, Kyle Kuzma – while sitting out to nurse his current injury – has signed a deal and will be working closely with Puma going forward. In working with Puma’s Basketball division brand, that technically makes him label mates with fellow Puma Basketball associate Jalen Rose, who has served as a brand ambassador for the team over the course of the last year or so.
Jalen Rose spoke to Complex recently about how he has felt as he settled into his role and went in depth as far as what his experiences with Puma have been overall, but what really made us perk our ears up is what Rose had to say less about sneakers and more about basketball, and everything about his label mate Kyle Kuzma. He spoke glowlingly of Kuzma now only in regards to his skills as a basketball player within the NBA, but also as far as what role he fills on the Los Angeles Lakers. Rose said that Kuzma was one of the better players on the Lakers, and with good reason.
“We talk about the Lakers and the “big two,” the dynamic duo, and rightfully so, but they have a big three,” Rose went on to elaborate his own position. “I think this is [Kuzma’s] opportunity to have an All-Star year, and really become the type of player that people respect and appreciate enough to say the Lakers have a big three.”
I think there is a lot of truth in what Rose had to say here in regards to Kuzma. A lot of people forget just how well Kuzma stood out during LeBron’s first season with the Lakers. All eyes were on LeBron, but Kuzma averaged 17 points last season and had a few 40 point games in there. Next to LeBron James, Kuzma was the second best shooter on the Lakers last year.
While most of the players who weren’t LeBron were simply role players or supporting characters, Kuzma was always an active contributor. There’s a reason why guys like Lonzo and Ingram were traded during free agency while LeBron made sure to keep Kuzma on his team. Because Kuzma plays his part and he plays it well.
It’s easy to overlook Kuzma with shiny new stars on the team like Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis, but when he comes back from injury, don’t be surprised if Kuzma steals the show.