Kyle Kuzma Expresses Disappointment After Pulling Out of FIBA World Cup

Brad Sullivan
2 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma’s time as a member of Team USA came to an abrupt end on Saturday as a result of an ankle injury.

On Sunday morning, Kuzma expressed his regrets for not being able to play, though he remained confident about the team’s chances in the FIBA World Cup.

Kuzma appeared to have no issues in the first game in Australia on Thursday, scoring 12 points in the 102-86 win over the Australian national team. All of his points came on 3-pointers after making four of his five shots from beyond the arc.

However, prior to Saturday’s game, Kuzma informed Team USA’s head coach Gregg Popovich of soreness in his ankle. With the team still needing to cut one player to get down to the FIBA roster limit of 12, the decision was made to send Kuzma home.

In Saturday’s game, Team USA suffered their first loss since 2006, dropping a 98-94 decision to Australia. The stunning upset snapped a 78-game winning streak and came against a team that was ranked by FIBA as the 11th-best men’s team in the world.

From the Lakers’ perspective, Kuzma’s return will give him nearly a month to rehabilitate his ankle injury. It’s also a small bit of positive bit of news in a month that’s already seen the devastating injury to new acquisition DeMarcus Cousins.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.