Kyle Kuzma admits Lakers’ inability to bond getting in way of championship aspirations

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

Despite the Los Angeles Lakers’ 15-6 start to the season, Kyle Kuzma indicates that the continuing COVID-19 health and safety protocols are affecting the Lakers’ ability to bond as a team.

“Obviously it still is a mental toll. Everybody is locked away in their rooms and it’s still a pandemic out here,” said Kuzma “That’s not an excuse to lose at all, but just every day, human life, yeah, for sure, it’s always going to be a mental toll.”

Kuzma discussed how the protocols currently in place are preventing him and his teammates from being able to connect more closely, something that was taken for granted prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s not too much bonding,” Kuzma said. “Obviously the NBA has very, very strict regulations to keep everyone safe. Obviously, we have our little contact-tracing bells, and just being safe and being precautious. You don’t want to be around too many people. You see a team like Washington have to postpone games, six, seven, eight people in the organization (getting infected), that would hurt you. Especially if you have championship aspirations.”

The Washington Wizards’ 4-12 start to the 2020-21 season has been due to a number of factors, but the virus outbreak that took place last month made their difficult season even more problematic.

In contrast, the Lakers remain focused on defending their title, a campaign that was interrupted in March because of COVID-19 and not completed until October.

Despite the many months in which the Lakers were unable to get back on the court, that team managed to remain connected and is something that Kuzma is likely hoping that the team can recreate in the months ahead.

“This season is much different because every game kind of matters when you’re talking about seeding,” Kuzma continued. “Having an outbreak, especially in the West, could be the difference between finishing 2 and 6. And hopefully we don’t get to that point, but we kind of just are professional about it and stay safe and keep it simple.”

While Kuzma’s focus is obviously geared toward the Lakers, he remains cognizant of the toll the deadly virus has taken across the world, including in the Lakers’ home state of California. Yet, he’s hoping that getting back together with teammates off the court will soon be an everyday thing.

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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.