Skip to main content

LeBron gave Kuzma "the kiss of death"

LeBron-James-Kyle-Kuzma

Kyle Kuzma is the apparent trade asset the Lakers have to improve their team. He is still on a rookie scale contract; he's a solid player, and most importantly, it seems LeBron GM gave him "the kiss of death."

As much as he denies it, we've seen LeBron influence his team's decision not just on the court but in the front office as well. Let us be clear; he is not unique in that regard. Most superstars are at least consulted in almost every move a team makes, and that makes sense. But, we've never seen such a level of impact on decision making as we did with LeBron in the past.

What makes it more problematic with LeBron, and imploded the Lakers locker-room last season, is his conflict of interest due to his connection with Rich Paul. Officially, the NBA didn't find any inappropriate links between LeBron and Klutch Sports. What a shocker there. But, it's no secret signing with Klutch brings you benefits of LeBron's power - ask Ketavious Caldwell Pope.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Brian Shaw was an assistant coach with the Lakers until this season and has first-hand knowledge about the dynamic that goes on with the Lakers. It doesn't hurt he played in the NBA for 15 years and was an assistant coach and a head coach since. The man is up to date and has a warning for all young Laker players.

"But I'll tell any of the other young Lakers out there, don't make the mistake that Kyle Kuzma's team did and have your trainer say anything. I know Rich Paul was trying to sign Kyle Kuzma when he left his agent last year, he didn't sign for Rich Paul. So, when you don't sign with Rich Paul, and your trainer comes out and says Kawhi was giving it to LeBron, you're gonna be outta there." 

Brian Shaw, via The Bounce

We herd already about Kuzma's trainer talking on social media about Kawhi and LeBron, calling LeBron out. Not a smart move. Shaw added the context most of us don't know or don't consider as much - Kuzma rejecting Klutch Sports. This is where LeBron's connection to Klutch and Rich Paul comes problematic. There may not be anything there officially, but it's not suitable for the team and locker room. When asked if he thinks LeBron gave Kuzma the kiss of death, Shaw was crystal clear.

"Oh man, no question."

Brian Shaw, via The Bounce

A decent player, on a cheap contract, the Lakers only realistic trade asset and he stepped on LeBron's toes? If I were Kuzma, I'd have a bag packed at home, just in case. 

Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso

“The NBA told me I couldn’t” — Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso wasn't allowed to switch jersey number

Caruso wanted to honor Bill Russell, but the NBA had a surprising reason not to allow the switch.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and assistant coach Phil Handy

“This man doesn’t work hard all the time” - Lebron James’ work ethic was once questioned by an assistant coach

Phil Handy initially thought LeBron James didn't give his full effort all the time until he witnessed Zero Dark Thirty 23 in the playoffs.

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka talks with forward Jayson Tatum

"S**t, on Twitter, like everybody else." — Jayson Tatum on how he found out about Ime Udoka's suspension

Tatum, who mentioned that he developed a close bond with Udoka, also revealed that he hasn't spoken to his head coach since the suspension was reported.

USA guard Kobe Bryant, Spain forward Pau Gasol

Kobe Bryant ran through Pau Gasol’s chest just to send a message

Kobe Bryant wanted to set the tone from the first play, and it didn't matter if he had to pin down a close friend.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton, guard Jrue Holiday, and forward Giannis Antetokounmpo

Three Milwaukee Bucks players on ESPN Top-100 list

Despite popular opinion, Jrue Holiday was ranked higher than Khris Middleton.