With NBA All-Star weekend coming to Los Angeles, the Lakers are certainly hoping to have as much representation as possible given that the proceedings will be in their building.
Lakers president Jeanie Buss has already said that it would ‘break her heart’ to not have any Lakers in the game. And while rookie Kyle Kuzma has racked up some buzz on social media amidst his unexpected start, he’s highly unlikely to actually get to participate in the Sunday marquee given the crowded Western Conference field.
While the ever-confident Kuzma would hardly ever acknowledge that possibility, he did admit that there is one other event he’d like to get the chance to play in.
“I’m a pretty good shooter. I’ve been shooting it really well, consistently. That would definitely be cool, to be in the 3-point (competition), in L.A,” Kuzma said.
The Lakers are the worst 3-point shooting team in the league (32.9 percent), but Kuzma certainly has been ‘shooting it really well,’ while leading them in 3-point percentage (41.6 percent) and scoring (18.1 points per game).
Kuzma’s conversion rate from behind the arc also ranks 30th in the NBA, and coupled with his Los Angeles ties and the buzz he’s generating with Lakers fans might be enough to help him get the nod for the event.
If Kuzma does make it, his success rate on threes off the dribble the season should help, because it translates better to the event than players who are more specifically just spot-up shooters.
Kuzma would also seem to be a lock for the annual Rising Stars Challenge, which features the best rookie and sophomore players on the Friday of the weekend.
Additionally, Kuzma might not be the only Laker to suit up on Saturday night should he make the 3-point contest. Temmate Larry Nance Jr. has continually professed an interest in the NBA Dunk Contest as well.
With those two, plus Lonzo Ball in all likelihood joining Kuzma on Friday for the Rising Stars Challenge, the Lakers will be well-represented on the weekend, even if they don’t have a player in the main event.
Byron Scott (1987 and 1988), Michael Cooper (1987) and Nick Young (2017) are the only Lakers who have participated in the 3-point contest.