Lakers News: Kyle Kuzma’s College Coach Talks About His Journey To The NBA
Lakers Recap: Poor Shooting, Rebounding Dooms L.a. In Loss To Jazz
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Kuzma has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the NBA season so far for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kuzma has started the season averaging 13.7 points per game while shooting 50.7 percent from the field, the third-highest scoring total on the team and fourth-highest field goal percentage. All this has come while playing solid and versatile defense to boot.

Performances like that would be pretty good for any NBA contributor, much less for a rookie forward who was taken at the end of the first round.

Kuzma’s college coach, Larry Krystkowiak, says Kuzma’s success has been not just impressive, but a model for him to show his current players as an example of how they can make their own dreams come true via Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:

“I mean, it’s been a heck of a journey for him,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “We have it printed in our program or in our facility. We talk about the process a lot, not having shortcuts and putting in the work. … He’s an extremely hard worker, grounded kid, really matured. His body changed. I think you can see what playing with some confidence will do for you.”

Kuzma’s success is also an example of how a player can be better suited for the NBA than the college game. At Utah, Kuzma was asked to perform more traditional big man tasks in a more restrained college system. With the Lakers, he’s been unleashed as a quick-shooting, hybrid forward who can play multiple positions and move well in space on both offense and defense.

Kuzma couldn’t have found that success at the next level without continuing to work hard throughout college, however, and his journey shows just how important staying ready for the right situation is. He’s so wildly outperformed his draft stock that he just might help Krystkowiak with his next recruiting class, too.

You May Also Like

Lakers News: Derek Fisher Calls Retiring Both Of Kobe Bryant’s Jerseys Safe, But Would Pick No. 24 Over No. 8

While much is made of the dynamic duos Kobe Bryant made with Shaquille O’Neal and later Pau Gasol, fact of the…

Lakers News: Austin Reaves Enjoyed First Career Start, Which Was Supposed To Happen Earlier In Season

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has consistently been switching up his starting lineup this season due…

Lakers News: Mike D’Antoni Says He Could Have A 10 Man Rotation

In the Lakers win over the Utah Jazz on Friday night, head…

Lakers Rumors & News Recap: Lakers Lose Game One, But There is Promise

The first game, although ending in a loss to the Warriors, wasn’t…