The Los Angeles Lakers are one of, if not the, biggest and most notable brand in all of sports. Their purple and gold uniforms are iconic, they have the second-most championships of any NBA franchise and are located in one of the largest media markets in the world.
All of those benefits and more are why so many grow up dreaming of donning a Lakers uniform, and it turns out that even when that dream comes true, it doesn’t always seem totally real for the athletes who get the opportunity.
Kyle Kuzma is the latest example of a player who can’t quite believe their good fortune to end up in forum blue and gold and he spoke about how it feels to be a Laker to Joon Lee of Bleacher Report:
“It’s surreal,” Kuzma says. “The Lakers are the premier franchise in all of basketball. It’s the biggest brand in basketball. It’s a really surreal feeling to wake up every day, put on my Lakers gear and see Magic in there and play for Luke Walton.”
While Kuzma might be living the dream, he’s been far from merely content to rest on his laurels and enjoy it. Instead, he’s shown why the team decided to give him the jersey in the first place. Kuzma ranks third in the NBA in scoring during the preseason with 21 points per game, and has done so while remaining efficient, boasting a scorching 73.5 percent true-shooting percentage that leads the team among players to play more than 12 minutes per game.
Kuzma has spoken about how important his shot selection has been and will be to maintaining that efficiency. Almost as impressive has been the confidence he’s displayed while doing so. Looking like anything but a nervous rookie, Kuzma is decisive with the ball, almost always attacking or shooting right off the catch to keep defenses on their toes.
Kuzma already looks like the steal of the 2017 NBA Draft, and watching how quickly he’s had success has probably left the Lakers with just as surreal of a feeling as Kuzma has when putting on his jersey.