Our lives are filled with instances where we are faced with adversity. Whether it is success or failure, there are times when we must make decisions that will affect our future. In the case of Kyle Kuzma, he made the decision to leave the Los Angeles Lakers to join the Cleveland Cavaliers. The decision was not one that was given a lot of thought, and Kuzma’s main reason for making the choice was because he wanted to team up with LeBron James.
In an interview with Fox Sports’ Kristine Leahy, Lakers power forward Kyle Kuzma had some choice words for Lakers legend and Los Angeles King LeBron James. Given the circumstances, it was no surprise that he would say some less than flattering things — maybe even a little harsh. The question is whether he was indeed in the right, and if James’ comments on James Harden were fair.
If you’re a Lakers fan, good luck on re-signing Kyle Kuzma. The restricted free agent has a lot of options to choose from, including the Lakers, who have been extremely active in free agency and are looking for a wing scorer to pair with LeBron James. A source told ESPN that Kuzma has already met with both the Cavs and the 76ers this summer, and it’s unclear if he’ll pick the Lakers.. Read more about kyle kuzma and let us know what you think.
What a difference a transaction can make. On his way out the door in Los Angeles, Kyle Kuzma, who was part of the five-team swap deal that started with the agreement to send Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers, took a shot at LeBron James.
Kuzma was a four-year member of the Lakers’ roster, earning a ring as a reserve in 2020. Fans, on the other hand, were irritated by him. As a rookie, the former 27th overall selection was a late first-round surprise. Four years later, he’s still basically the same player. When LA decided to bring in Westbrook, he became expendable.
On his trip to Washington, though, Kuzma felt compelled to take a shot at James. But, in the process, he reversed himself on something he stated less than two years ago.
In December 2020, the Lakers gave Kyle Kuzma a three-year contract deal.
On December 18, 2018, during a stoppage in the fourth quarter of a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Barclays Center, LeBron James (23) and Kyle Kuzma (0) of the Los Angeles Lakers react. Following his trade, Kuzma took a jab at James over the GOAT argument. | Getty Images/Sarah Stier
Before signing a three-year, $39 million contract with the Lakers, Kyle Kuzma was set to become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2021.
His game, however, did not improve as a result of the increased protection. Last season, Kuzma took 50.2 percent of his shots from 3-point range after being asked to be more of a volume shooter. He hit 36.1 percent of them this year, up from 30.8 percent the previous two.
Kuzma was on the rise, scoring 16.1 and 18.7 points per game in each of his first two seasons. However, with the appointment of coach Frank Vogel in 2019, the team’s importance was drastically decreased. After starting 105 games and averaging 32.1 minutes per game in his first two seasons, he only started 41 games and played 27.0 minutes each night the next two.
The Lakers have previously dangled Kuzma in trade discussions, but he was dealt the same treatment as other players. According to Matt Moore of Action Network, the Lakers greatly underestimated his worth to other clubs. But now that Kuzma is no longer with the team, he wasn’t above a parting jab.
Until he didn’t, Kuzma referred to LeBron James as the GOAT.
Kyle Kuzma was traded to the Washington Wizards on July 29, just before the NBA draft. A few days later, SportsCenter tweeted some of the late Kobe Bryant’s video-game statistics. Kuzma was all over the place.
Bryant’s volume-scoring achievements are astounding. More 40-point games were scored by Bryant than by James and Stephen Curry combined. He also surpassed Kevin Durant, Larry Bird, and LeBron James in terms of 50-point games. Finally, his total of 60 points surpassed James and Michael Jordan’s combined total.
Indeed, this is a GOAT business.
The interesting thing is that when Kuzma was one of LeBron’s guys two years ago, he had a totally different perspective. In response to a statement from James posted from the Lakers’ official account, Kuzma used the term “GOAT” in a follow-up tweet.
After being exchanged, Kuzma seems to have taken James’ enormous horns and given them to Bryant.
Kyle Kuzma did not play with LeBron James, but Kobe Bryant did.
In 2016, Kobe Bryant announced his retirement, ending his career with a historic 60-point performance. Kyle Kuzma joined the Lakers in the 2017–18 season, followed by LeBron James a year later.
In the never-ending fight between the LeBron and Michael Jordan camps, James often appears in the GOAT discussion. The use of social media just adds to the flames.
Bryant is mentioned in GOAT debates on occasion, but not as often as Jordan or James. In 2007–08, he was named NBA MVP, was named to 15 All-NBA teams, was a 12-time All-Defensive player, earned five rings, and won two Finals MVP awards.
Bryant averaged 25.0 points per game during his 20-year career, making him a two-time scoring champion. After ripping his Achilles’ tendon towards the conclusion of the 2012–13 season, he was never the same.
In 2007–08, James won the scoring championship and Bryant was named MVP. After 12 years, the King introduced an assist title. He has a lifetime scoring average of 27.0 points per game with assists and steals averages of 7.4 and 1.6, respectively. James is a four-time NBA MVP, four-time Finals MVP, 17-time All-NBA performer, and six-time All-Defensive selection, in addition to four titles.
Within the framework of the GOAT argument, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James share one characteristic. Both are polarizing, and their poles are almost always in direct conflict. People either adore Kobe or adore LeBron James. On the vast Venn diagram of life, the two circles seldom cross.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
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