Magic Johnson jokes Kyle Kuzma ‘thought he was LeBron until LeBron showed up’
The Los Angeles Lakers’ rookie sensation from last season in Kyle Kuzma was perhaps the most underrated youngster coming out of the 2017 draft class. But a huge reason for his breakout performance was his work ethic, something which Magic Johnson even compared to LeBron James’ legendary drive to become better.
Johnson jokingly told Anthony Irwin of Sliver Screen & Roll that Kuzma, who was absolutely killing it in preseason training, had himself a huge reality check once new teammate LeBron James showed up in the gym.
“For a week, nobody in this gym could touch Kyle Kuzma because he just lit it up for a whole week until LeBron came back (laughs),” Johnson said in jest. “He thought he was LeBron until LeBron showed up.”
To be fair to Kuzma, almost anybody in the league could very easily get dwarfed by one of the best players in the game today. This is not to shoot down Kuzma in any way, as the fact of the matter is, being talked about in the same light as the great LeBron James is already an immense honor for such a young stud like Kuzma.
The underlying realization here is that Johnson himself stated how good Kuzma was looking prior to the arrival of James. This only means that he has been working hard on his game this summer. A breakout rookie year was not enough to have Kuzma sit on his laurels; in fact, it appears that it has motivated him, even more, to take his game to the next level.