— kuz (@kylekuzma) July 15, 2023
The Lakers won the NBA Finals in the Orlando, Fla. bubble in the 2019-20 season, and they did it with a dominant playoff run.
Los Angeles needed just five games to win each of its first three playoff series that season, advancing to face the Miami Heat in the Finals. While the Heat did take the Lakers to six games, the team emerged victorious, capturing its first title with LeBron James on the roster.
Kuzma played a crucial role for that Lakers team, mainly coming off the bench behind James and Davis and providing the team with solid frontcourt defense and a bench scoring punch.
While Kuzma was dealt to the Washington Wizards in the trade that brought Russell Westbrook to Los Angeles, he clearly has a lot of love for the 2019-20 season’s Lakers squad.
Unfortunately, there’s no way of truly knowing who would have won these matchups, and it’s likely that players from each team that won the last four titles would claim that their team was the best.
Regardless, Lakers fans have to appreciate Kuzma’s loyalty to the franchise that he began his career with.
This offseason, Kuzma signed a new four-year deal to remain in Washington. He had one of the best seasons of his career in the 2022-23 campaign, averaging a career high 21.2 points per game while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. He also contributed 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.
The Wizards are in a bit of a rebuilding phase after trading away Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis this offseason, but that could allow Kuzma to thrive as one of the team’s top offensive options.
While he may not find himself in contention for a title in the 2023-24 season, Kuzma will always have his ring from the 2019-20 season to look back fondly upon.