Kyle Kuzma shares his thoughts and experiences after being traded from the Lakers to the Wizards in a summer blockbuster deal for Russell Westbrook.
While NBA stars are often masters of their own destiny, there’s one thing that players rarely have any control over — an unexpected trade.
So when Lakers fan favorite Kyle Kuzma was traded to the Washington Wizards in a blockbuster trade to acquire Russell Westbrook, it was a move that the passionate young forward didn’t see coming.
However, Kuzma doesn’t seem to harbor a grudge against the team that is “grateful” to have been a part of for four seasons and one championship victory. Kuzma recently sat down on “No Chill with Gilbert Arenas” and explained how his Lakers family has supported him through the transition.
"“Nah, it’s all love. It’s all love for sure. A couple days after I got traded, (LeBron and I) were hanging out, just hanging out, chilling. Even the organization — especially for me, I came into the Lakers and it’s all I know. It was family from the jump. Even leaving, it was family. Getting texts or calls from (owner) Jeanie (Buss) or (general manager) Rob (Pelinka) or equipment managers or people that just work the front gate, everyone is like ‘Hope you have a successful career. You’re doing this, you’re doing that.’ No bitterness. No nothing, for sure, 100%.”"
Kyle Kuzma sounds grateful to have been with the Lakers at all
Kuzma further expanded on his feelings in a piece for The Player’s Tribune, reminiscing on his past with the Lakers and speculating on a hopeful future with the Wizards. In it, he describes some of his most memorable moments in Los Angeles, including the time he first met role model Kobe Bryant over dinner, his personal goal of beating LeBron James to early morning gym workouts and being “a small part of a great legacy.”
Although transitioning from such experiences is bittersweet, it also gives Kuzma an opportunity to grow and form a new identity as a Wizard.
“Having the opportunity to be in Washington, on a team full of guys who are ready to show what they can do….. I think I’m going to fit right in,” Kuzma said of his new team. “I’m hungry to take my game to the next level.
The way I see it, I’m at a crossroads — but it’s not a bad crossroads.
It’s new beginnings.”