One thing that has always separated Kyle Kuzma from most other young players is his outstanding confidence. The Los Angeles Lakers’ second-year forward has always carried himself like a star, and anytime he’s on the court he plays as if he’s the best player on the floor.
But even that mindset and confidence couldn’t shield Kuzma from the constant trade deadline rumors floating around about him. Kuzma admitted that dealing with it was hard for himself and the Lakers as a whole, so he sought out advice from a legend to help him through it.
In an interview with Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated, Kobe Bryant shared the advice he gave to Kuzma to help him through the rough time:
Meanwhile, Kobe advised Kuzma to be himself. “A lot of players concern themselves with things that aren’t important,” he says. “The shot they just missed before and potentially missing the next one and then what people may say about them because of it. The true art of any athlete is just to be in the moment.”
Remaining in the moment was extremely important for Kuzma and the rest of the young Lakers; both around the deadline and moving forward. Though they had nothing to worry about for the rest of the season, the summer is sure to bring about many of the same rumors of the trade deadline.
The Anthony Davis trade talks are sure to heat up in the offseason, but that can’t the concern of Kuzma and the rest of the Lakers.
Bryant is no stranger to in-season distractions so Kuzma going to him at that time makes a lot of sense. Hopefully he and his teammates can take on that mindset as they make one final playoff push.