Following a career night, in which he dropped a team-high 41 points, Kyle Kuzma told reporters how weirdly ironic it was putting on that kind of performance against the team he used to love.
“If you would’ve told me in college, I would’ve scored 40 for Lakers, I wouldn’t believe you. Pistons are the team I grew up watching. My fondest memory is the Pistons beating the Lakers.”
Growing up in Flint, Michigan, Kuzma grew up a hard-core Pistons fan. And back then, there was plenty to cheer for. When Kuz referenced them beating the Lakers, he was talking about the 2004 Finals, when Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace, and co. beat the Lakers to win the Championship and shock the world. Who would’ve thought Kyle would end up playing for the team he grew up rooting against?
But when you go from fan to player, there’s little you can do to change where you go. Obviously, for Kuz, the Lakers would not have been his first choice. In L.A., fortunately, he’s found a home of sorts and has quickly become a vital part of Lakers basketball.
For the season, he’s averaging 18.8 points per game and 5. 7 rebounds on 47.1% shooting. Judging by those stats, and the show he put on yesterday, Kuzma would be a great fit on Detroit. Then again, there seems to be something special in Los Angeles right now. It provides Kuzma with a unique opportunity to grow and win alongside LeBron James, Magic Johnson, and some very talented other youngsters. So far, despite the pressures of being a team in the biggest market in the U.S., Kyle Kuzma is answering the call.
This whole time, while the Lakers have been waiting for a second star, the sophomore from Flint is revealing that it might have been under their noses the entire time.