The Los Angeles Lakers traded a bunch of players to get Russell Westbrook. Kyle Kuzma was one of these players and his trade made huge headlines. Kuzma had a good relationship with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the rest of the guys, but his last two seasons with the Lakers were really messy. Although NBA experts had high expectations from Kuzma during his time with the Lakers, he flourished with the Washington Wizards.
In his interview with Shams Charania from The Athletic, Kuzma shared details about his trade and his new role with the Wizards. As a Laker, Kuzma averaged 15.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. He was shooting 44.8% from the field, 33.8% from beyond the arc, and 72.7% from the free-throw line.
“As soon as I got traded, I was ready to be more,” Kuzma told Charania. “Being in this situation helped out a lot. Here, I’m not playing behind LeBron (James) and AD (Anthony Davis). Those guys are my position, my type of player, who I am, my style. So coming here, I don’t have that anymore. It’s been great because me, Brad (Bradley Beal) and KP (Kristaps Porzingis) don’t get in each other’s way. We all just flow out there. It’s been a pretty good jell for the first 20 games. We’re all averaging 20 a game without having any friction out there.”
Kuzma struggled behind LeBron and Davis
The young player failed to meet expectations. His performance fell apart following LeBron’s arrival in LA. Kuzma claims he couldn’t be himself next to LeBron and AD.
Kuzma is a better fit for the Wizards. He uses the best of this opportunity and hopefully, he will continue playing at a high level
“Being in Washington is really just helping me be myself,” Kuzma said. “I had to show a shell of myself in L.A., playing with greatness, and rightfully so. That’s what you should do playing on a team with those type of players at my position. Whereas being in D.C. has allowed me to be myself and expand my game, which a lot of people probably didn’t think I was.”