Over the last couple of seasons, the Los Angeles Lakers compiled one of the best collections of young talent in the NBA.
The Lakers traded Ingram, Ball, and Hart to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis as they look to immediately vault back into championship contention. Unfortunately, that meant the young core that has grown together is now split up, but that doesn’t mean the friendship between them will end.
Kuzma recently spoke to Arash Markazi of Los Angeles Times about this, saying he will always be friends with them and is extremely happy for the opportunity they now have in New Orleans:
“They’re my friends and we’re always going to be friends,” Kuzma said. “Just because we’re not teammates doesn’t mean we won’t be friends. I’m always going to communicate with them and keep up with them. I’m just happy for those guys. They’re in an unbelievable situation for them to really grow and become the players they want to be.”
Kuzma is right the Pelicans offer all three young players the opportunity to grow and reach their potential, especially without having to deal with all of the extra attention that comes with being a part of the Lakers. Ingram, Ball, and Hart have all shown the ability to be major players at the NBA level and they will have the chance to really show the world what they can do on one of the best young teams in the league.
The bond between the young players was obvious and made sense. All around the same age, the players would constantly joke with each other on social media and play video games. The relationship between Kuzma and Ball especially was on full display from Day 1 and those two remaining close seems like a certainty regardless of where they each play.
It’s impossible for players not to develop relationships when they are with each other so much traveling across the country and that doesn’t end because of a trade.
The NBA is a business, but it gives the players opportunities to gain friends and family that will last forever and that was the case with this young core.