Although they are newcomers, LeBron James and Rajon Rondo are expected to be the two of the more prominent leaders on the Los Angeles Lakers roster this season.
With James and Rondo combining for four championships in 10 NBA Finals appearances, their experiences will especially help the young core. The group showed promise last year but now will be required to learn on the fly if they want to make a deep playoff run in their first season together.
And for Kyle Kuzma, he has not been shy in seeking out advice from other players, which has contributed to his early success.
“We talk all the time. Whether it’s basketball, business, or whatever. He’s another great person, a great resource to talk to and pick his mind. He’s been around the game for 16 years, so I’m using him. And not only him, but Rondo as much as possible.”
Kuzma further explained the adjustments he has already made heading into his sophomore season:
“Nutrition, how to maintain your body, the maintenance. I think one of the biggest things is the IQ factor, watching film. I pretty much watch film almost every day now. Listening to those guys and what they do every single day.”
Originally the No. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Kuzma quickly established himself as a part of the team’s young core. Along with getting stronger and improving his guard skills, he made a significant lifestyle change by becoming a pescetarian during the offseason.
While James will naturally get all of the attention, Kuzma and the young core are determined to show they can compete for championships in the short- and long-term. Despite the inexperience, they are making up for it through their work ethic, which has gained praise from the front office and coaching staff.