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Kyle Kuzma leaves Kobe Bryant off all-time starting 5

Kyle Kuzma

Kyle Kuzma of the Los Angeles Lakers recently named his top five players at each position. The list may hint where the Lakers wunderkind got his play style from.

As posted on his Twitter, Kuzma’s top players include Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Tim Duncan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

As always, several fans replied to question Kuzma’s choices. Some had a hard time believing that he didn’t pick Shaquille O’Neal, whom they believe is the better player mainly because of his dominance in the paint.

Others also pointed to the fact that Kobe Bryant is nowhere to be found in the list. Fans, albeit Lakers ones, somehow expect Kuzma to pick Bryant. After all, he’s a Laker, too, and one of the all-time greats at that.

Kuzma actually had dinner with Bryant not long ago. Kuzma himself was the one who reached out to Bryant, even citing him as one of his favorite players of all-time. As per Bill Oram of the Orange County Register, Kuzma shared what went on in the dinner:

“Just work,” Kuzma said. “That’s cliché, but that’s what he stands for, that’s what he values. That’s what I value. So that was really the message.”

“He was one of my favorite players for sure,” he said, breaking into a grin. “He’s one of the greatest players of all time.

“He’s Kobe Bryant.”

Bryant might not be on Kuzma’s list. But the advice that he received from him has certainly gone a long way. Kuzma is now preparing for his second season in the league. He’s slowly becoming the face of the franchise along with Lonzo Ball.