Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma is a very visible NBA star off the court. Kuz often makes waves with his social media posts that update Laker Land on his daily life. His fans also stay up to date with the latest news on his dating life. The man’s got just as much game off the court as he does on it.
But Kyle Kuzma clearly has a more private side to him, and this comes out when looking through his tattoos. His ink serves as a reminder of the things he plays for; the different motivators off the court that he has for performing well on the court.
Kuz Kontrol gave an in-depth look at this tats during a segment with GQ Sports.
Here’s a closer look at each one of Kuzma’s main tattoos and the inspirations behind them:
Kyle Kuzma’s Tattoo Inspirations
Kuzma shares that his favorite hoops idol as a kid was Philadelphia 76ers legend and cultural icon – Allen Iverson. The Answer made a major impact on sports, both on and off the court. His outspoken style and behavior and visible tattoos were a definite inspiration for a young Kuzma
Another inspiration for him was the Birdman – Chris Andersen. When it came to his art and showcasing his style, the Birdman was as loud as it gets. He would sport wild hairstyles and display a full sleeve of multi-colored tattoos that surely caught the attention of Kyle Kuzma growing up.
Kyle First Tattoo Ever
Kyle Kuzma’s very first tattoo is that of a Lion head on his left shoulder. Kuzma was born on July 24, 1995, which makes his zodiac sign appropriately a Leo. He got this tattoo when he was 18 years old, which sounds longer ago than on its own, but is actually just six years ago for the 24-year-old Los Angeles Lakers star.
The tattoo transitions from a lion around the front to a basketball closer to the back. It took three whole hours to get the entire piece done.
Kyle Kuzma’s Hometown Tat
A proud native of Flint, Michigan, Kyle Kuzma displays his home town in ink on his lower left arm.
Kuzma shares that the place where he grew up influenced him a lot, and really helped him find his love for the sport of basketball. He found his safe space within the confines of a basketball court.
“a really violent place [where] there’s a lot of temptation to get into the streets.'” However, Kuzma described basketball as his “‘safe haven”
Despite being known now as an offensive talent, Kyle was much more of a defensive impact player for his local Bentley High School in Michigan. He averaged just 17.9 points per game, but also 3.4 blocks as a junior.
Kuzma’s Ode to New Beginnings
Kuzma has a few religious tattoos as well. The first he shares are the numerous tattoos of doves spread across different parts of his arm.
He shares that these doves are meant to symbolize new beginnings. They were the doves during the time of Noah’s ark. After the great flood, they had sent out the doves, who in turn found branches that signified the new beginning that the people would have.
This biblical scripture feels very relevant for Kyle Kuzma, who’s dealt with and overcome various hardships throughout his lifetime.
Kyle Kuzma’s Favorite Bible Verse
Kyle also has a bible passage etched in the inner part of his left forearm. It comes from Proverbs 16 verse 20:
Proverbs 16:20-22 Modern English Version (MEV)
20 He who handles a matter wisely will find good,
and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.
Eye and Cross Tattoo
Right above the scripture tattoo, Kyle had done an eye with a cross intersecting it.
But for this one, he just felt like it looked good there.
Kyle Kuzma’s Dedication to Nipsey
Another meaning piece of work for Kyle Kuzma was this dedication to the late rapper Nipsey Hussle.
The tattoo shows a striped flag with letters marking it for TMC, which stands for one of Nipsey’s sayings – The Marathon Continues. Hussle tragically died in March of 2019, so Kuzma dedicated this space in his memory.
Kuzma believes that his life has really felt like a marathon with the different adversities that he’s faced. The saying is a reminder to just keep running towards the finish line.
Kyle Kuzma’s Monopoly Ink
Kuzma also has a tattoo of an angry Rich Uncle Pennybags, more commonly known as the monocle man from the board game monopoly.
Monopoly was apparent a favorite in their household growing up, and the Kuzma family would have games that stretched for up to seven hours as Kyle mentions.