While much has been made of the close relationship Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma developed during their rookie seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, there was also a strong bond that Josh Hart was part of.
The first-year players not only gelled with one another over the trials and tribulations of a rookie season in the NBA, but also got along well with Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle. With Ball and Kuzma at the forefront, the young Lakers established a strong presence on social media.
With that came light-hearted jokes that alluded to one another’s fashion sense, table side manners, and much more. But that recently escalated to Ball making matters more personal in a song he released at the expense of Kuzma.
Ball and Kuzma were said to have had an understanding the song was purely for entertainment. Nonetheless, the Lakers reportedly asked the players to scale back on their presence on social media and scale back with the extracurricular activities.
It’s a sentiment Hart voiced to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk:
“We are 22, 23-year-old kids, we are just taking little subtle jabs and that kind of thing,” Hart said as he and LA Chargers defensive end Isaac Rochell hosted a free screening of “Uncle Drew” for 200 local youth from local nonprofits like Brotherhood Crusade, Boys and Girls Club Venice and The Right Way Foundation in Los Angeles. “It is nothing more than that. We are all close off the court. And that is all it is, just messing around, having fun. We are cool off the court, we are cool on the court. That wasn’t anything.”
Although Ball’s diss track garnered national headlines, it should be noted Kuzma may have initiated the exchange through a joint venture with Bleacher Report that took aim at the point guard.
Regardless of how harmless their intentions may have been, Ball and Kuzma sparked a media firestorm at an inopportune time. The Lakers are entering one of the most important offseasons in recent memory, as they are expected to pursue two max-contract free agents.
Moreover, there lies the possibility of the team completing a blockbuster trade for Kawhi Leonard who is said to be disgruntled with the San Antonio Spurs.
Time will tell if Hart was correct in stating Ball and Kuzma have an understanding that the ribbing was all in good fun.
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