Shortly after the Los Angeles Lakers selected Kyle Kuzma with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, it became apparent how much he idolized franchise legend Kobe Bryant. Beyond Bryant having ties to the Lakers, there was also a connection through his former agent.
As general manager of the team, Rob Pelinka made it seamless for Kuzma and Bryant to meet for dinner last season. The rookie questioned the five-time champion on several areas of the game, which impressed Bryant as he praised Kuzma for having the “best trait” of being inquisitive.
A story that also garnered headlines from their dinner was what Bryant ate. Upon detailing what each ordered, Kuzma referred to the porterhouse steak that Bryant had as the “big dog steak.” He joked he hadn’t yet earned enough in the NBA to feast on such a dinner.
But that may be a moot point as Kuzma revealed to Mike Bresnahan on Spectrum SportsNet, he’s changed his diet:
“No steaks. I’m a pescetarian now, so I don’t eat steaks. New Kuz, yeah, pescetarian Kuz.”
The decision comes during a summer in which Kuzma was challenged by the Lakers front office to improve in every facet on a season that saw him earn a selection to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. By all accounts the versatile forward approached the offseason with a relentless drive.
At varying points over the past couple of months, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, Pelinka and head coach Luke Walton have all commended Kuzma for his workout regimen and signs of improvement.
That was also apparent to Bryant when he recently worked out with Kuzma. Meanwhile, Kuzma claimed to be “a lot better” than where he finished as a rookie in April.