The Los Angeles Lakers included Kyle Kuzma in a trade with the Washington Wizards that allowed them to acquire Russell Westbrook. In doing so, they ended the three-year partnership that the former Utah standout had with teammate LeBron James.
Kuzma and James had something of an interesting relationship. Sometimes it looked like they were on very good terms – other times not so much.
Beyond that, flames were further fanned when Kuzma made some pointed comments about his favorite Lakers teammate and promptly changed his GOAT pick as soon as he got traded.
On Tuesday, Kuzma decided to get brutally honest about his relationship with James and the impact that he has had on his career.
“I know that being around LeBron has reshaped my thinking in all of these important ways,” he wrote in the Players’ Tribune this past week.
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 10, 2021
“Like, just the idea of thinking about a game as being about more than the score. I think in my first couple of years here, I was kind of a slave to the scoreboard. But now, I’ve had multiple games this year, where I’ve pushed myself so far beyond that. Or the idea of fully committing to doing it all — and just watching a guy like LeBron play defense, score, playmake, and also rebound, basically go all out, every single night. I never thought I would ever even come close to triple doubles….. but I understand how that kind of game is possible now.”
For all the talk about potential beef between Kuzma and James, the former doesn’t seem to be harboring any negative feelings. And given that James offered a special parting gift to Kuzma after he got dealt, it seems unlikely that there is any resentment from his side either.