Being part of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise comes with facing a media scope that’s largely unrivaled in the NBA, and that has gone into overdrive since the signing of LeBron James last summer.
While the game’s best player joining one of the league’s premier franchises has made for intense and endless coverage, it was also the target of pointed criticism by Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant.
He recently opined the media environment around James in Los Angeles was ‘toxic.’ James admitted Durant’s remarks angered him, but the two spoke and cleared the air. Durant is considered one of the Lakers’ targets come free agency, however remote their odds of signing him may be.
During an appearance for 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend, Kyle Kuzma explained why he welcomes the media spotlight and prefers it to an alternative such as playing for the Orlando Magic, via SiriusXMNBA:
“Obviously the national media loves the Lakers. Everybody talks about it. And when you add LeBron James to the mix, one of the greatest players, you’re going to have even more coverage. But, I mean for me, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I want people talking about me — good or bad, because if they’re not, I mean, you’re not doing something right. I’d rather be talked about bad in L.A. than play in Orlando and not get talked about.”
Kuzma immediately witnessed firsthand the level of attention that comes with playing for the Lakers, as his rookie year was filled with speculation regarding the team’s future plans. Matters then took a turn leading up to the trade deadline, when Kuzma was linked to the Anthony Davis saga.
Kuzma initially denied the trade rumors were having any sort of effect on him, but later admitted to being impacted. He ultimately found peace of mind after a 42-point drubbing, because despite the blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers, the 23-year-old learned he wasn’t likely to be traded.
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