Skip to main content

Kyle Kuzma calls out the Lakers about his role

Kyle-Kuzma

Kyle Kuzma has been one of the most disappointing players this past season, as the Lakers forward never managed to find his rhythm and contribute enough to help the Lakers defend their championship. That stirred up a lot of hate from Lakers fans who have been criticizing Kuzma for quite some time now, especially after their first-round playoff exit.

It wild to see how Kuzma went from being one of the fan-favorites, drafted late in the first round and exceeding all expectations, looking like a future star, to being probably the most hated Laker and primary trade piece. Any time a player gets available or rumored to be on the trading block, Kuzma is the first asset ready to be let go from the Lakers side. It sounds irrelevant, but that kind of pressure and doubt doesn't help you play better.

Also, a player often plays to the best of his abilities when he knows his role on the team, what everybody expects of him on a nightly basis. For Kuzma, his 4-year career has been a roller-coaster in which he played with numerous teammates and coaches in different positions and roles. Most lately, he was viewed as a core piece of the bench that will serve as that third gun after LeBron and AD, but with all the injuries and rotations, Kuzma's job and role got mixed up to doing whatever the team needed that night. Kuzma himself believes that is the sole reason for his disappointing season:

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

"My biggest thing is I just want to play within a consistent role. If I have that ability, I'll be able to showcase what I can really do. There were parts of this year—and even anywhere else in my career—when I'm in a consistent space, I'm out there handling the ball, making teammates better, scoring, shooting, defending, rebounding. I think if I'm in that space, I'll be good."

Kyle Kuzma, Bleacher Report

Kuzma also added how he is confident he can average 25 points per game in the proper role, alongside praising his improvement on the defensive side of the floor. You can sense that Kuzma is fed up with all the (uncalled) criticism coming his way, as he has tried his best to fit into the system and provide the Lakers with what is needed. But if they want Kuzma to go the next level and be that steady third wheel, they will need to define a role, wherever it is off the bench or starting, in which case he will feel comfortable enough to show off what he's got. 

At 25 years old, Kuzma is entering his best years, and if the Lakers don't take advantage of it, another team could swoop in and make him a potential centerpiece of their team. The potential is there, but Kuzma must get it together and find the consistency to be an All-Star in this league, wherever it is in LA or elsewhere.

Want to stay up to date with the latest news and reactions?Download our NBA news feed for breaking news, live stats, and game coverage.

Isiah Thomas & Karl Malone

Isiah Thomas opens up about a surprising phone call he received from Karl Malone - "He almost started crying on the phone"

Isiah Thomas shares what happened when he got a surprising call from Karl Malone, who wanted to apologize for an incident that happened 30 years ago between the two legends

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson

"Then what happens? They’re gonna consider him a bust" — Vince Carter gave Zion Williamson helpful advice

Like Zion, Carter was also branded as primarily a dunker when he entered the league and everybody expected him to throw it down all the time.

Stone Cold Steve Austin celebrates with beer during WrestleMania in 2022 and LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009

"I've forgotten so many things but I remember that vividly" — Steve Austin on LeBron James taking photos of him via flip phone

Stone Cold didn't need to check his social media or the internet as he vividly remembers the King's support.

Michael Jordan in 2022 at the NBA 75th Anniversary Team induction ceremony

“You're a loser! You've always been a loser!” - how Michael Jordan trash-talked his teammate into retirement

When MJ said he doesn't care, he really meant it - even if his teammate once retired because of his cruel trash talk.

Kerry Kittles in 2021 at a Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame press conference.

"Mostly they’re talking about scoring and scoring" — Kerry Kittles on today's NBA

Kerry Kittles doesn't like the lack of defense in today's game but admittedly would've loved to play in this era.

Former Kansas Jayhawks player Scot Pollard

“It’s a common expression here” - Scot Pollard revealed the code the Sacramento Kings used for too much dribbling

As it turned out, every single player on "The Greatest Show on the Court" Kings was about team basketball.