Lakers Practice Notes & Video: Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball Rookie Watch

Lakers Practice Notes & Video: Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball Rookie Watch

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After starting the season .500, the Los Angeles Lakers will put their recent success to the test, as they head on the road for a four-game roadtrip. The Lakers start out with the No. 1 ranked Boston Celtics on Wednesday and then travel to Washington, Milwaukee and Phoenix.

For many of these rookies, including Lonzo Ball, it will be the longest time they’ve ever spent on the road, and the first of many roadtrips to come. With such a young team, how they respond, could set the tone for the rest of the season.

Since Larry Nance Jr. fractured his left hand, Kyle Kuzma has filled in to the starting job, and has done a phenomenal job. Kuzma is currently the Lakers second-leading scorer with 15.4 ppg, shooting 56.3 percent from the field.

Kuzma is second only to Ben Simmons in points scored this season, and is one of only three rookies (the other two are Ball and Simmons) to have 20-and-10 games this season, but find out why Kuzma does not compare himself to other rookies.

Quotes

Kuzma on Lonzo’s media sessions: “His answers are really short and stout, I’m pretty sure you guys don’t like his answers anyway, they’re okay but they’re boring, mine are more vibrant than his.”

Kuzma on if he compares himself to other rookies: “No, I don’t think so, I don’t really compare rookies because my focus is one, winning and two, I try to focus on all the top players in the league, because that’s where I want to be, so I don’t feel like rookies are a stick point for me to try to battle with…I look at guys like (Giannis) Antetokounmpo and LeBron (James) because eventually, that’s where I want to be.”

Walton on Kuzma comparing himself to players like LeBron: “I think it explains why he’s been able to be so consistent since he’s been here, you have to have a confidence about you to make it in this league, at this level and for a rookie to do it, you have to be a very, very confident young man, I think it just speaks to what he believes in himself and what he’s able to do on a basketball court.”

Lonzo on Magic’s advice to him over the past few games: “To keep my head up, and on my shot, he says I’m falling back a little too early, so I’ll definitely try to work on that next game and we’ll see what happens.”

Kuzma on his connection with Lonzo: “I think it starts off the floor, I feel like if you’re close off the floor and you can relate off the floor, then its easier on the court because you can understand where people are coming from, and the goal that we each have is pretty similar, for me and him, we want to be great, and on the court, it’s like yin and yang, we have this type of vibe that goes together.”

Lonzo on Kuzma: “He’s a great teammate, great person, gets along with everybody, including the staff as well, he’s easy to coach that’s why the coaches like him, he plays hard that’s why we all like him, he’s going to go out there and fight every time.”

Notes
– Kuzma said if he would have had interest from NBA teams after his first year of college, he would have left college
– Kuzma thinks he’s a bit ‘ahead of the curve defensively,’ because a lot of the defensive principles and terminology he used at Utah is very similar to the NBA
– Teen Wolf and Black Power are a couple of Lonzo’s favorite shows, and he also says he plans to get into Game Of Thrones
– Lonzo said Magic has tips for him pretty much every game, usually catches him on his way back from the locker room
– Lonzo says he still feels like this is a playoff team
– Lonzo says that him and Kuzma watch the same shows, play the same video games, and have the same taste in music