With All-Star Weekend finally upon us, the Los Angeles Lakers can get some much-needed rest as they don’t play again until Feb. 23. For Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma, however, that isn’t quite the case.
Ingram, Kuzma, and Lonzo Ball were all selected to take part in the Rising Stars Challenge. Ball won’t play because of injury, but Ingram and Kuzma will suit up, which will be their third game in three nights.
Because of that, Lakers head coach Luke Walton said that he wanted both of his players to log limited minutes in the showcase event.
After the Lakers’ game against the Minnesota Timberwolves however, Walton softened his stance somewhat, leaving it up to the players themselves, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“Ultimately, I’ll leave it up to them. My recommendation is that they don’t play big minutes. But if they want to, that’s their decision as long as they’re cleared from the medical staff.”
Kuzma in particular, made it pretty clear that he wanted no parts of any type of minutes restrictions for the Rising Stars Challenge. He even tweeted out that he plans on gunning for the MVP Award on Friday night.
With Larry Nance Jr. being moved at the trade deadline, Ingram and Kuzma are the only representatives for the Lakers during All-Star Weekend, so a good performance in the Rising Stars Challenge would be a nice feather in the cap for the organization.
Walton’s concerns about minutes are understandable as the last thing he wants is two of his most important players being overworked. On the plus side however, is the fact that there will still be plenty of time for them to rest up and be ready for the Lakers’ next contest, and the rest of the season.
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