Before Anthony Davis, before LeBron James, before the restoration of "Showtime," Laker Nation hung its hope in a young Kyle Kuzma. At first, he was nothing much to behold -- just a bright kid from Flint. But as he continued to display his talents, the team (and the world) saw something in him.
Seasons later, Kuz is the only one left from the original Lakers young core. He does not intend to waste it, either.
In a chat with ESPN, the 24-year-old forward assured Los Angeles that he was going to be the star everyone believed he could be.
"I don't feel no pressure, but I believe that I am capable of being that superstar," Kuzma told ESPN. "I put a lot of work in. My progress through my journey shows that I can be there. I developed every single year, dating back to college, and I don't see that development stunting at all."
Alongside Anthony Davis and LeBron James this upcoming season, Kuz intends to step up in any way that he can.
"If I can shoot the ball well and keep developing the facets of my game defensively, I don't see why I can't [be that third star]," Kuzma said.
"I've never been a ball-dominant guy. I've always played off the ball. It is going to be a little bit easier, going to have a lot of open shots. It is my job to trust my summer workouts and what I've done. Just breathe, focus and knock those shots down, because I'm going to be open."
The Lakers' roster is one of the most stacked in the league, that much is true. But they aren't the only team to have loaded up this summer. The Rockets, Clippers, Warriors, and Jazz are all going to be fighting for the Western crown this year.
Which means it will be all the more important that Kyle Kuzma finds his groove.
Good thing for Lakers fans, he doesn't seem all that concerned.