In the minds of many, Kobe Bryant is the greatest player to ever wear the Los Angeles Lakers uniform. Since his retirement, the franchise has been looking for their next star and while they haven’t yet found it, the team has a good core of young talent led by Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Kyle Kuzma.
While Ball and Ingram each were No. 2 picks, it is Kuzma who has come from nowhere to become a major piece for the franchise’s future. His outstanding footwork, offensive arsenal, and fearless mindset have stood out in his rookie campaign.
Kuzma’s early success was perhaps further fueled by an introduction and dinner he had with Bryant. The meeting was set up by Lakers general manager and Bryant’s former agent, Rob Pelinka.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Kuzma explained what it meant to him to meet the future Hall-of-Famer and the highlighted a similarity he believes they share:
“Me and him share the same mentality and approach towards basketball, and that’s definitely one of the top people you want to meet, especially being a Laker. That’s one of the players I looked up to growing up. It was pretty cool that I was able meet him and I could use him as a resource in my future as a pro. So that’s definitely important to me.”
Having a resource like Kobe at your disposal is a major advantage. Not only can Kuzma go to Bryant for advice on dealing with certain things, but Kobe is surely available for workouts to work on and new moves and there are very few players ever who have as many moves as the five-time champion.
Kuzma definitely has that Kobe mentality of attacking whoever is in front of him and showing no fear of the stage he is on regardless of the fact that he is still a rookie. Hopefully he can continue to show that type of work ethic to grow and develop into possibly the Lakers next star.
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