Kyle Kuzma Discusses New Endorsement Deal With Puma

Brad Sullivan
5 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma entered new territory in the endorsement world this week by becoming the face of Puma footwear and apparel.

After the original announcement lacked any details concerning Kuzma’s compensation from the company, more information was offered on the lucrative deal.

ESPN’s Nick DePaula indicated that a guaranteed amount of money that Kuzma will receive could potentially include additional payments. Exactly what the veteran will do for the company was also explained.

“The deal is expected to pay Kuzma more than $20 million over the life of the contract, with additional incentives that could escalate the total value, according to industry sources,” DePaula wrote.

“Kuzma is now one of the highest-earning players with Puma and a featured partner with the company. He also will be featured in brand campaigns and key product-feedback sessions and have creative control over future collections.”

The 24-year-old Kuzma is set to begin his third season with the Lakers, after coming to the team in a 2017 draft-night deal with the Brooklyn Nets. While a variety of other companies might have also been under consideration before he chose Puma, he explained why the company was the right choice for him.

“The No. 1 thing I was trying to look for was a little bit more control, a little bit more freedom to do certain things,” Kuzma said. “Not to be restricted from an idea standpoint. Having a brand fully commit to me and see that I have visions too — that could work out well for the brand and me as well. Puma was that.”

Kuzma had previously had an endorsement deal with Nike that paid him a mere $25,000 a year. That came after he was the 27th overall pick by the Nets, but Kuzma made an immediate impact in the league during the 2017-18 campaign by being named to the NBA’s All-Rookie first team.

One specific change that will be evident with Kuzma’s new deal is that he’ll no longer be wearing the signature Nike sneakers of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. While Kuzma expressed some disappointment in the change, he pointed to the fact that it was strictly a business decision.

“It was tough from the simple fact of how much I love Kobe,” Kuzma said. “Everyone knows that I wear Kobe’s shoes. It was tough, but at the end of the day, I have dreams and goals and I imagine myself being at that type of level in this business.”

Puma will be introducing a new sneaker that Kuzma will be modeling throughout the 2019-20 season. In addition, he’ll also offer insight on other aspects, including apparel-related items.

“Kuzma will be wearing Puma’s new Clyde Hardwood sneaker in both retail and custom colorways to start the season while working behind the scenes on a variety of future basketball and lifestyle sneakers and clothing,” DePaula wrote.

Rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was also connected to Puma and was tragically killed earlier this year, is likely to be the inspiration for some of Kuzma’s early contributions. Kuzma indicated that he hopes to continue to deliver the same community-wide impact that Hussle had been offering at the time of his death.

“Ever since that moment, trying to carry on that marathon and that type of symbolism, it kind of meant a lot to me,” said Kuzma. “I wanted to go to Puma, not only for everything that I’ve got going on, but to do some things within this community like Nip did.”

Right now, Kuzma is focused on simply getting back on the court as he continues to rehabilitate the stress fracture he suffered to his left foot in August. The hope is that he’ll be ready to go once the regular season begins on Oct. 22.

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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.