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Kyle Kuzma makes strong statement after Lakers’ early playoff exit

Kyle Kuzma Lakers

To say that Kyle Kuzma underperformed in the playoffs this season is putting it mildly. The Los Angeles Lakers forward struggled mightily as LA fell in the first round.

But speaking to reports after the Lakers’ playoff elimination, Kuzma chose to stay confident with what has been built this season, both as a team and as a player. As far as Kuz is concerned, he’s turned into a “winning player”.

“I’ve been through a bunch of different eras here—a rebuilding stage, LeBron’s first year here and figuring out and win championships and then this year,” the Lakers forward shared.

“Only speaking for myself I think this year I made incredible strides of becoming a winning player, making the right play, being a real valuable asset on a defensive end. I got a lot of growth in me. I can’t wait to get there.”

Giving credit to the Lakers forward, Kuzma did make some strides coming from last season. He became a much more efficient 3-point shooter (31.6% to 36.1%) and improved as a defender, something that used to be considered one of his biggest weaknesses.

As weird as it sounds, Kyle Kuzma is the longest tenured Lakers player on the roster. The 25-year-old has been on the team for four seasons, dating back to his rookie year in 2017. Kuzma’s contract extension also guarantees that, barring a trade, he’s going to be staying for another three years wearing the Purple and Gold.

While Kuz had his down moments this season, perhaps an extended break can rejuvenate him and the rest of the Lakers for another run at the title next season.