Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart began their professional basketball careers with the Los Angeles Lakers as two of the more underrated prospects in the 2017 NBA Draft.
While Kuzma was not among the casualties of the Anthony Davis trade, the same cannot be said for Hart after he was sent to the New Orleans Pelicans. As a result, they are now set to square off as opponents in the Western Conference moving forward.
There is no question that both players became good friends and friendly rivals during their first two seasons in Los Angeles. It appears that is not likely to change in the near future.
Hart wasted no time in hitting Kuzma with some early trash talk, via Bleacher Report:
“When I see Kyle Kuzma on the court, I’m tryna bust his [expletive]… After that, we’ll have a glass of wine.”
Hart’s comments should hardly come as any surprise. The two have made a habit of going at each other both on the court and through social media.
Although Hart is now trying to find his footing in New Orleans, he is not looking to relent on any opportunity to go at his former teammate. It is safe to say that Kuzma is more than willing to oblige after he was quick to respond to his comments, via Twitter:
I would never let someone that plays video games for a living beat me in basketball. https://t.co/2t5x8k8f9l
— kuz (@kylekuzma) June 21, 2019
It is easy to see why both players seemed to hit it off almost instantaneously upon joining the Lakers. They came from a similar background after spending at least three years playing college basketball and had both been largely overlooked in the draft.
The Lakers managed to dig up some serious gems by selecting them with the No. 27 and 30 picks. It did not take either of them long to prove that they were perhaps more NBA-ready than some of their younger peers.
Kuzma’s scoring ability and skill set as a bonafide stretch-four has turned him into one of the NBA’s most promising, young stars. His talent was even enough to earn himself an invitation to the Team USA training camp this offseason.
Meanwhile, Hart proved not to be too far behind in terms of raw potential on both ends of the floor. He will have an opportunity to continue his development alongside some familiar faces in New Orleans.
Both Kuzma and Hart will likely continue to experience significant changes throughout their careers. Regardless, the friendship they built in Los Angeles will always remain the same.