Lakers News: Playing In Rising Stars Challenge A ‘Dream Come True’ For Kyle Kuzma
Mark J. Terrill-AP Photo

Unlike most other participants in the Rising Stars Challenge, Kyle Kuzma was not a lottery pick. Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 27 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, he’s far and away exceeded expectations.

Although Kuzma cooled off from his torrid pace and faded from the Rookie of the Year conversation, he was a shoo-in for the showcase event for first- and second-year players. Kuzma and teammate Brandon Ingram received the loudest applause during player introductions.

It was a reasonable expectation considering the game was played at Staples Center. That reaction made the night all the more memorable for Kuzma.

“It was super cool,” he said of playing in the Rising Stars Challenge. “Especially our fans that came out. It sounded like we had a lot of them today, so it was really cool.

“It’s really a dream come true. Growing up, you always watch All-Star
Weekend, and now we all get to be a part of it. We get to play and hopefully continue to be a part of All-Star Weekend.”

Kuzma scored 20 points on 9-for-18 shooting, adding seven rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes off the bench. He went into the game hoping to win the MVP Award, play 40 minutes, and throw a dunk down on Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid to atone for failing to do so last November.

What Kuzma did manage to accomplish was a scoring flurry that Lakers fans have grown accustomed to. “I turned it up a little bit in the fourth,” he said. “Just to, you know, give the fans a little something.”

WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION? CHECK OUT THE NEW LAKERS NATION FORUM CLUB

You May Also Like

Shaquille O’Neal Compares Playing With Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, And LeBron James

Shaquille O’Neal had the privilege of playing with a number of all-time greats during his own Hall of Fame 20-year NBA…

Lakers News: Media Still Has Giannis Antetokounmpo Ahead Of LeBron James For 2019-20 NBA MVP

Before the 2019-20 NBA season was suspended, one of the biggest developing stories was that of the Most Valuable Player…

Paul Pierce Details Growing Up Lakers Fan, But Being Selected By Celtics In 1998 NBA Draft

For most Los Angeles Lakers fans, Paul Pierce’s name brings a certain disdain and dislike as he was a villain who had no…

Lakers News: Rudy Gay Amazed By LeBron James’ Longevity In 17th NBA Season

Coming into the 2019-20 NBA season, there were questions as to how LeBron James would perform in his 17th season with…