As the world continues to deal with the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the rollout of a vaccine has given hope to many that things will finally be getting back to normal relatively soon. For the NBA, this season has been unlike any other with the lack of fans, and breakouts happening with numerous teams.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been fortunate enough to not have major breakouts, though they have lost players for different reasons involving the virus.
One question that has been asked regarding the vaccine and the league is whether players should take it. Commissioner Adam Silver has previously said that the league won’t take away from those citizens who are most at risk and need to take the vaccine first. The NBA has promoted usage of the vaccine, however, with some legends taking it in hopes of encouraging others to do the same.
As far as the Lakers go, Kyle Kuzma says the team hasn’t spoken about it too much, but they have been able to get some information. “We don’t talk about it too much. We had a Zoom call with a few doctors talking about the vaccine,” Kuzma said.
“Obviously in the African American community, there’s a lot of skepticism. There’s a lot of that going on with the history of medicine with African Americans, so obviously we have that there. At the same time, I think what you don’t know you don’t know.”
With the league being predominantly African-American, those concerns throughout the community are surely spread within the NBA as well. But Kuzma notes that the feedback on the vaccine so far has been good. “Obviously, over the past couple of weeks with the vaccine, there’s been good feedback and positive reports on it. With the science there, you have to take a look at it.”
Furthermore, Kuzma plans on continuing to be outspoken about this, and any other issues that he believes need to be talked about. “Yeah, whenever I have a chance to,” Kuzma added. “Whenever I think I should speak up. Obviously, I’m not scared to say what I want to say how I feel. If those opportunities present themselves, I feel like the need for me to speak up and for people in this country that don’t have the platform I do are unheard. When it comes.”
Obviously Kuzma is teammates with one of the most fearless and outspoken leaders in the history of sports in LeBron James, who has done a ton of work in helping to uplift his community, and that likely helps motivate him off the court as well. For as much improvement as Kuzma has made on the basketball court, he is likewise expanding his reach off of it which is just as important.
Kuzma considers Lakers’ first half of season a ‘win’
The Lakers limped into the All-Star break having lost six of their last eight games and dealing with injuries throughout the roster. But despite dropping to the third seed in the West, Kuzma considers the first half of the season a success.
“I think it was a win, honestly,” Kuzma said. “For the first half of the season for us, we only had 71 days after winning a championship. Shortest offseason in NBA history, and for us to have an old veteran team and not a lot of time in that 71 days for offseason development to come in fight how we did all year and add new parts in, it’s a win.
Kuzma continued in his excitement for the rest of the season, just as long as the Lakers can get back to full strength. “We just got to get healthy and I’m excited to see what our team does in the second half when everybody is back. Very excited.”
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