Kyle Kuzma didn’t escape criticism during his four years with the Los Angeles Lakers, but he left a player loved and respected by the then-Staples Center crowd.
Kuzma and other former Laker Kentavious Caldwell-Pope returned to L.A. last March when their Washington Wizards fell 122-109 to the Purple and Gold. Local fans applauded both players throughout the night, prompting Kuzma to say “Laker Nation, and being a Laker is forever in my heart” after the game.
And the 26-year-old forward continues getting love from the Lakers faithful whenever he visits the old stomping grounds. Kuzma recently tweeted words of appreciation for the affection he’s been receiving during his time in California over the summer:
Been in cali for a few weeks. Laker fans appreciate the love fr everywhere I go 🏽
— kuz (@kylekuzma) July 22, 2022
Kuzma had a solid first season with the Wizards, averaging 17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists while shooting 45.2 from the field and 34.1% from deep in 66 starts for D.C.
Even though LeBron James is now his opponent, Kuzma remains close with the four-time NBA champion. After the March game in L.A., Kuzma said James “really is a big brother and mentor to me.”
Earlier this year, the two even joked on Twitter they should perhaps launch a Manningcast-like NBA show together as they both watched the 2022 playoffs from home.
Kuzma still upset Lakers never got championship parade
Kuzma will forever be remembered for playing his part in L.A.’s 2020 NBA title. However, the memory of that success caused the forward some pain last month.
While watching the Golden State Warriors’ championship parade, Kuzma joined Alex Caruso — the other player from that title-winning Lakers team — in expressing disappointment over the fact the Purple and Gold never got to celebrate their 2020 victory with fans on the streets of Los Angeles due to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic regulations.
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