Kyle Kuzma Bids Goodbye to the Lakers With a Story Aboout His First Meet With Kobe Bryant

Published 08/11/2021, 12:00 AM EDT
Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) during the third quarter in game 3 of the first round of the NBA playoffs Friday, May 4, 2012 at Pepsi Center in Denver Colorado. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post (Photo By AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)


Players being traded can bring up a lot of feelings, good or bad. Unfortunately, in Kuzma’s case, he seems to be holding a little bit of a grudge after being trade. This was most clear when he took some subtle shots at LeBron James, calling Kobe Bryant the GOAT instead. But recently, Kyle Kuzma revealed some personal details about his first sit-down with Kobe Bryant which shows how much he admired the Lakers legend. This might mean that those comments weren’t out of spite, but in fact, genuine.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

How Kobe Bryant approached Kyle Kuzma

Ever since Kyle Kuzma joined the Lakers four years ago, the first thing on his mind was a meet with the legend himself, Kobe Bryant. He kept pestering Rob Pelinka to fast-track a sit-down with Kobe saying, “Come on, help me out. I’m trying to talk to him.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

However, it was Bryant who ended up reaching out to Kyle himself. Back when they were in Minnesota for a game, the youngster was preparing in his room and his fan rang. Guess what? It was a text from Kobe. It said, “Yo, this is Bean. Let’s do dinner. Sunday when you guys get back.”

Kuzma couldn’t believe his eyes and even arrived at dinner 15 minutes earlier because of how nervous he was. Kobe kept him waiting a while but when he entered, the whole restaurant’s attention was on him. But Kobe was as chill as ever and started the conversation with, “Kuz, what up man?”. This was a night to remember for Kuzma because THE Kobe Bryant knew his name.

Jan 21 2009: Kobe Bryant during the 108-97 Los Angeles Lakers victory over the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Darryl Dennis/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)

WATCH THIS STORY: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant & Other NBA Superstars That Have Stunned us With Their Dunks at Olympics

What did the two talk about?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

There is nothing they didn’t talk about. Kuzma revealed, “We’re just talking about life, basketball, how I grew up, how he grew up. The ups and downs of his career. We talked about his business life. Things that really influenced him. The cool thing with Kobe — he was always trying to get smart. He was always trying to gain knowledge, and he’d find that from anything.”

Kobe took complete interest in Kuzma’s life as well. From talking about his upbringing to how it helped shape his pro-career, Kobe was all in. “That was a really cool night for me. It’s a memory that just gets more important and more special to me as time goes by,” concluded Kuzma.

Mar 31, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) shoots the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks in the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s only fitting that Kuzma’s farewell message to the Lakers started off with a story about Kobe Bryant. The man who made the franchise into what it is today. And ever since he passed away, there can never be too much of the Mamba, isn’t it?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Kyle Kuzma Forgets LeBron James as He Names His Greatest Teammate Ever

about 2 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Yashima Bhatia

1486 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT