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Kyle Kuzma isn’t allowing LeBron James’ praises get in the way of his development

LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma

Los Angeles Lakers second-year forward Kyle Kuzma is careful not to let the plaudits from his future Hall of Famer teammate get into his head. When asked for a reaction with regards to the compliments he’s been getting from LeBron James, Kuzma said that he can’t let those affect his focus in his preparation for the upcoming season, per Mike Trudell of NBA.com.

“LeBron is a Mount Rushmore player in NBA history, so for him to say he’s a fan of my game is a great compliment. But you also have to take it with a grain of salt, because you don’t want to get caught up in that. For me, it’s great, I love it, but keep working. Keep letting him love my game.”

There’s a new sense of optimism for the Lakers after LeBron James signed a four-year deal with the team in the summer. With James on the team, the Lakers suddenly become a threat in the Western Conference, though, Kyle Kuzma knows that it takes more than the presence of a four-time MVP for his team to succeed. He and the other Lakers youngsters need to chip in to ease the burden off the shoulders of James.

Kuzma was arguably the best story for the Lakers last season, as he went from an overlooked prospect and late first-round draftee into one of the team’s few bright spots. Kuzma finished his rookie season with 16.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and shot a respectable 45.0 percent from the field.