LeBron's challenge to Kyle Kuzma: 'Do you want to score a bunch of points or...be a part of something special?' - Lakers Daily

LeBron’s challenge to Kyle Kuzma: ‘Do you want to score a bunch of points or…be a part of something special?’

LeBron James and Kyle Kuzma

When Kyle Kuzma’s role with the Los Angeles Lakers changed last season due to the trade for Anthony Davis, it was LeBron James who issued a challenge to Kuzma about whether he wanted to stay with the team.

“It all depends what you want in this sport, to be honest,” LeBron James said. “… Do you want to score a bunch of points but sometimes it doesn’t really matter or doesn’t make a difference in winning or losing? Or do you want to be a part of something special where you continue to get better, you continue to make an impact and you have a role on the team where you’re playing for something more than the sum of your individuality?”

Kuzma had been a regular starter during the 2018-19 season and had averaged 18.7 points per game that season. One of the reasons that he may have looked elsewhere was because he was in line for a new contract, but he chose to cast his lot with the Lakers.

The end result was that Kuzma ended up being a part of last season’s championship run and then signed a new three-year deal worth an estimated $40 million.

While there are critics who claim that Kuzma’s defense is suspect, he’s able to laugh off such digs and remains focused on helping the Lakers capture back-to-back NBA titles. James is in the opposite camp and has lauded Kuzma’s continued growth.

Of course, the performances of James and Davis will go a long way in determining the Lakers’ fate, but Kuzma’s continued improvement bolsters those chances.