basketball, NBA

Kyle Kuzma is ballin’ out

Who is this guy?

Kyle Kuzma is in the argument now of ROY due to his strong performance against the Rockets where he had a career high 38 points. That game should have put him over the edge. He was the best Laker on the court and for almost all of this year a godsend on the offensive end for the Lakers. While all the hype has been around Lonzo (well documented by ESPN et al), Kuzma has quietly been going to work night in and night out. Look at his splits below:

Kuzma-splits-espn.png
Stats from ESPN – Golden State broken out as they play today

Those are great for a rookie. I have seen enough comparative stats of Lonzo ball vs INSERT AN NBA LEGEND to know that if the roles were reversed we would be crowning Kuzma as the next NBA LEGEND! (Besides the assists… Lonzo is known for passing…) The NBA, the media, are all surprised by Kuzma and have been since he was drafted 27th overall. He wasn’t supposed to be this good, this fast. His ascension at Utah took time, why not in the NBA as well? Just read his draft profile, a lot of potential but consistency was the biggest question mark.When asked if he was surprised by his performance scoring +30 he said, “Why not? I scored 30s in Summer League.”

Charging In

In the western epic three hour Dances with Wolves, John Dunbar assigns himself to farthest frontier post. People think he is crazy for going out west and essentially is alone. He goes right to work, but has no idea what he is getting himself into. One day after several days of being alone he sees Kicking Bird, a Native American, curiously exploring the fort. Dunbar is unarmed and naked. (Kevin Costner did not get in tremendous shape for this scene. I appreciate the authenticity.)

After dropping to the dirt, trying to come up with a plan, Dunbar peaks up and sees Kicking Bird about to take his trusted and awesome horse Cisco (a beautiful buckskin). Dunbar ain’t about that… He charges Kicking Bird, who is so shocked by the behavior of Dunbar that Kicking Bird runs through a fence to get away.

Ignoring a lot of the other storylines, political messages, etc., this scene reminds me a lot of Kuzma. Early on in his career (college) he was timid, unsure, as a lot of talented players are. He doesn’t say much. He just goes to work. No one could deny his potential, but when he saw an opening in the NBA, he kicked the door in. He charged it with all of his insecurities and vulnerabilities in the open.

 

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