Every fan of the NBA can name their all-time starting five, or the best five-man lineup they can build from players throughout the league’s history. It’s an exercise that often produces similar yet varying results, leading to plenty of inspired debate.
Most would pick Michael Jordan, widely considered to be the best player ever, but other than him, the other four spots are mostly a matter of debate for NBA fans around the world. Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, LeBron James, Larry Bird and Shaquille O’Neal are a few of the common names.
It was already clear that Los Angeles Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma was an avid fan based on his reaction to making his debut, and just like every other NBA fan, he has an answer for an all-time starting five.
When asked for his lineup during a Twitter Q&A session, Kuzma included a trio of Lakers legends in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bryant and Johnson, teamed with James and Jordan:
Magic, jordan, kobe, bron, Kareem https://t.co/qRfEjDqWXh
— kuz (@kylekuzma) November 24, 2017
Bryant is a more than deserving candidate anyway, but was Kuzma really going to leave out the legend who took him to dinner and created his favorite shoes? Doubtful.
Johnson is now Kuzma’s boss, so while he’s also deserving to make it on basketball merits, it was a vet move for Kuzma to shout out the man who selected him in the NBA Draft and gave him his shot with the Lakers.
Kuzma has been known to bust out a baby-skyhook or too as well, so in addition to Johnson, choosing Abdul-Jabbar should endear him to the legendary big man.
Lastly, James could be part of Kuzma’s actual starting five next summer, if rumors are to be believed. So, perhaps it was a wise move by him to show a possible future teammate some love.
Even if none of those reasons are actually behind Kuzma’s picks, they at the very least show solid basketball knowledge and an awareness of the game’s history, and you can’t ask for much more than that from a rookie who is already so far outpacing initial expectations.
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