One driving force to the Los Angeles Lakers making a nine-win improvement over last season was the chemistry the young roster developed. In particular, a strong bond was forged between Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma from the moment they joined the franchise.
No matter that it was from vastly different backgrounds. Ball was the heralded local point guard whose boisterous father had been predicting he would be drafted by the Lakers. Sure enough, they selected Ball with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Meanwhile, Kuzma was taken 27th in the same draft. He lacked the buzz Ball carried and many questioned the Lakers taking the forward late in the first round.
Ball and Kuzma connected over their desire to lead the Lakers franchise back to its once-proud and successful standing. But with that came endless jabs thrown each other’s way, and at teammates, over social media.
Ball recently raised eyebrows with a diss track that included a reference to Kuzma not knowing his biological father. It was arguably the most personal of any of their attacks, and one that prompted the Lakers to reportedly speak with both players.
While some may have believed the lyric angered Kuzma, he dismissed the notion of there being any friction with Ball, via ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk:
“My reaction is it’s we are all good,” said Kuzma, who talked to the media for the first time since Ball released the song. “We all joke. It happens, it’s what we do. I feel like, you know, the media, they don’t understand the culture that we live in. For us, we are good.”
Kuzma’s message falls in line with recent public comments Josh Hart made. He too asserted the teammates were just fine, and that the exchange was simply a byproduct of their generation.
Ensuring all is well between Ball and Kuzma of the utmost importance for the Lakers. The duo will either continue to be part of the rebuilding young core next season and/or serve as reason for a superstar free agent — specifically LeBron James or Paul George — to sign with the team.
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