Perhaps no young player saw their star rise over the course of the 2017-18 NBA season more than Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma. In one year, Kuzma went from a late-first round pick to an All-Rookie First Team Selection, making media appearances everywhere after the season.
Of course with a rapid rise in fame comes plenty of praise from fans and people everywhere. For those not accustomed, it can become overwhelming and even lead to overconfidence, but some words from Kobe Bryant are ensuring that won’t happen to Kuzma.
“When he was a young player,” Kuzma said, “everybody would in a sense toot his horn or kiss his ass. His way of not getting overhyped confidence-wise, even though he was still very confident, was to say, ‘OK, (forget) this guy. He might tell me something great, but he don’t mean that.’
“That really helped me stay level-headed. That was one thing that continues with me to this day, and I’ll probably never forget that.”
It is very important to not cross that line into overconfidence as that can have a negative effect on a player. Kuzma has that perfect blend of confidence and work ethic that could turn him into a future star in the NBA and heed the words of someone like Bryant will only help him get there.
Kuzma might wear the flashy clothes that help him stand out in a crowd, but he continues to work hard every day to improve his game. The Lakers have high hopes this year and Kuzma is expected to play a big role in that.
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