Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope reunited with the Los Angeles Lakers, visiting L.A. with their Washington Wizards on Friday.
The Lakers notched an important 122-109 win over the Wizards, moving 2.5 games ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans in 10th. James put on a show, scoring 50 points for the second time this season. Meanwhile, Kuzma ended the night as Washington’s top scorer with 23.
The 26-year-old forward has thrived since joining the Wizards, averaging 17.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in career-high 33.6 minutes. Also, Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope started in all of the 62 games they have played for Washington this year.
After the Friday clash, James said he was happy to see his two former teammates keep on playing some good basketball in the NBA — remembering their successful championship pursuit for the Lakers in 2019-20.
“We matched up a lot tonight,” James said. “Seeing my two brothers, KCP and Kuz, and seeing Kuz’s development this year has been so amazing. His playmaking, his shotmaking, his decision-making throughout this season, KCP obviously just continues to shoot the heck out of the ball, just a great teammate.
“But it’s always a welcoming feeling when you see one of your teammates that you were in the foxhole with to win a championship because you know how much blood sweat and tears and everything that went with trying to accomplish that.”
James evidently paid close attention to how Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope had fared ahead of the Wizards clash, bringing up the former Lakers’ duo’s stats off the top of his head.
“I love the fact that they’re thriving so much right now, Kuz is leading them in scoring with [Bradley Beal] out and KCP is second,” he said.
“KCP in the last 10-12 games has been shooting 50% from the 3-point line and Kuz has damn near had a double-double almost every game or every other game. So I just love what those guys are doing, I’m happy for them.”
Lakers honor Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope with tribute video
The Lakers paid tribute to Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope on Friday, putting together a video to honor their hard work for the Purple and Gold during their four-year stay with the team.
The montage started with the moment L.A. picked Kuzma with the 27th overall pick in 2017 and ended with the two players collecting their championship rings for the 2019-20 title.
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