The 5 lessons the Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma learned in his ‘incredible’ offseason

first_img Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years “I don’t think he hides nothing,” he said. “I feel like his approach and what you see of him on the court and how he talks in the media is how he is in real life. So I kinda knew the deal going in. I knew everything was going to be very mono, very one-sided. Very detailed.”These lessons have added up to an offseason effort that seems to have everyone on the Lakers taking notice. Kuzma is often mentioned as one of the standout players in pickup games and practice, and it’s telling that although he was mentioned in trade rumors, the Lakers remained invested in him.There’s a strong hope in the organization that Kuzma takes a leap forward this season, building off his surprising rookie year. They’ve observed he’s already put in the work to make it happen.“He didn’t rejoice and be happy and satisfied with his rookie season,” new teammate LeBron James said. “You guys were with him all last year and I believe you all followed him this summer and seen the work he put in as well. Came back stronger and faster, more explosive. There it is.” PreviousLakers forward Kyle Kuzma made a lot of changes to the way he trains (and eats) during the offseason, and his teammates and the front office believe it’s already paying off for him. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma shoots as Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac defends during a game last March at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma passes the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 93-81. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsJoel Berry II and Kyle Kuzma take a selfie during media day at the Los Angeles Lakers training facility in El Segundo on Monday, Sep. 24, 2018. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze/SCNG)The Lakers’ Brandon Ingram, LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma and Lance Stephenson line up for a pass during their first practice session on Tuesday in El Segundo. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma swings from the rim after dunking against the Boston Celtics during the third quarter of Boston’s 107-96 win in an NBA in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)The Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma releases a running hook shot over the Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge during a game last week at Staples Center. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) shoots as Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles (2) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 30: Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbbles up court during the first half against the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center on March 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)ATLANTA, GA – FEBRUARY 26: Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers grabs a rebound against Mike Muscala #31 of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on February 26, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma #0 drives past Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams #12 in the first half. The Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder in a game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA 1/03/2018 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, top, shoots as Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk falls to the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Heat won 92-91. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma went toe to toe with Rockets guard James Harden on Wednesday, scoring a career-high 38 points in the Lakers’ 122-116 victory in Houston. Harden scored 51, but the Rockets lost for only the fifth time this season and had their 14-game winning streak snapped. (Photo by David Sherman, NBAE via Getty Images)Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma said he doesn’t think his sprained ankle is anything that will keep him out long, but Wednesday marked just the second game he has missed during his rookie season. He was held out due to back spasms on Nov. 29. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) drives to the basket past San Antonio Spurs forward Kyle Anderson (1) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)The Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for November on Friday. Through his first 20 games, the forward averaged 16.7 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field. (Photo by Jae C. Hong, The Associated Press)LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 7: Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a dunk during the game against the Orlando Magic at STAPLES Center on March 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) pulls down a rebound against Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Atlanta, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/John BazemoreLos Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) goes to the basket against New Orleans Pelicans guard E’Twaun Moore in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, center, shoots as Boston Celtics forward Daniel Theis, left, of Germany, and guard Jarell Eddie defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma #0 shoots a jumper. The Los Angeles Lakers played the Utah Jazz in a pre-season game at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA 10/11/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, left, grabs the rebound during a preseason game against Minnesota late last month at Honda Center. He’s one of several rookies who have Lakers fans feeling optimistic about the team’s future. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG)From left, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Rajon Rondo participate in media day events at the Los Angeles Lakers training facility in El Segundo on Monday, Sep. 24, 2018. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze/SCNG)Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma made a lot of changes to the way he trains (and eats) during the offseason, and his teammates and the front office believe it’s already paying off for him. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma shoots as Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac defends during a game last March at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)NextShow Caption1 of 23Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma shoots as Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac defends during a game last March at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)ExpandEL SEGUNDO — Magic Johnson raved about how he “lit it up for a week” in summer pickup games. Josh Hart said it’s the most improvement he’s ever seen from a player in one offseason. JaVale McGee said he’s shown “that Michigan heart.”Universally, the strongest endorsements for Kyle Kuzma’s offseason have come from those who have seen the results the most closely. The 23-year-old is drawing praise even before the season has started.What does it take to build off a rookie season no one expected? Here are the key lessons Kyle Kuzma took away from his summer:1. If you take time off, be ready to pay for it in the weight room. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs center_img Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Defense was Kuzma’s prime focus this offseason. After scoring 16.1 points per game last year and earning a spot on the NBA’s All-Rookie team, Kuzma said he didn’t want to develop a reputation as a one-way player. Adding to his lateral movement helped him stay in front of players, and working on his strength allowed him to stay in a defensive stance for longer periods. He also worked out one-on-one with college teammate Delon Wright and former Lakers draft pick Anthony Brown to practice guarding different types of players.That versatility is one reason why the Lakers feel comfortable testing Kuzma out as a center in more small-ball lineups this season.“You work out with him, he’s much more of a man right now physically: the way he runs the court, the way he’s jumping and taking contact and all those things,” Coach Luke Walton said. “He’s worked extremely hard this offseason and it’s showing up on the court.”2. Watch more film – even when it hurts.Veteran guard Rajon Rondo mentioned that he was surprised when Kuzma texted him that he was watching film clips from a pickup session they had played over the summer. In part, Kuzma started watching his summer 5-on-5 work because he was so sick of watching his own season clips.“I got tired of watching my film from last year because it was disgusting to watch,” he said. “I just messed up so many times. We’re playing 5-on-5 (at the facility), and I’m taking it serious.”Reviewing his rookie experience, Kuzma realized he had not taken film study as seriously as he could have. He didn’t appreciate how much of an edge he could gain from studying the tendencies of other players, and he didn’t self-critique and improve his own mistakes enough game-to-game.So he took film study as seriously as he ever has this offseason, trying to learn not just more about himself but learning from others. He took a lot of inspiration from watching defensive clips of Scottie Pippen and Kobe Bryant.“Not saying I want to play like those guys but just seeing what those guys did on defense, how they attacked the ball, how aggressive they were defensively and how great of off-ball team defenders they were,” he said. “Scottie was really great at it. I think from watching those guys, it gave me a clear mind of what I wanted to do defensively.”Clint Parks, a trainer who has worked with Kuzma for years, said he thinks his renewed dedication to film study is a sign of how honest Kuzma is willing to be about his own game – both its strengths and flaws.“He scored the ball at a high level but he didn’t defend at a high level,” Parks said. “You watch it, you take it in. You watch guys who are great defenders. He’s a true student of the game. It’s not because the coaches say you should watch film. He wants to learn.”3. Surround yourself with the right people and keep them on the same page.Weeks after the season ended, Kuzma invited Parks, Vase and Lakers assistant Miles Simon to breakfast in Manhattan Beach. He told them he wanted to get better, and that he wanted them to work hand-in-hand to make it happen.There are tales in the NBA of players getting out of pocket, going to a different town and working with their own trainer away from their team. Kuzma, who lives less than 10 minutes from the training facility, was always in close communication (and proximity) with the Lakers staff. Parks, who has known Simon for nearly a decade, said the Lakers made it easy for the communication to flow.Simon brought the same level of attention to developing Kuzma (and the other players he worked with, such as Josh Hart) that once made him a great college player at Arizona and a Final Four MVP.“He really cares. You can text him at all times of the night,” Parks said of Simon. “That is the biggest thing with Miles: He’s just a good dude. He’s easy to communicate with. He doesn’t have an ego. … It makes it easier for the players.”Kuzma stuck with teammates during his offseason regimen: Hart, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram were in the facility with him often, playing with and against each other. The chemistry that started developing last season grew stronger by spending an offseason together.“I think that relationship can build,” Ingram said of his offseason work with Kuzma. “We talk back and forth a lot how we can be effective on the basketball court together.”4. Watch your diet – and your bedtime.The key to this one is pretty simple: Kuzma hired a chef.That has helped him take his diet more seriously: He’s cut out junk food, and for a brief time, fish was the only meat he was eating. That small step has helped him find more energy and maintain the right body composition, he said, and he’s eating fewer late-night meals so “the food doesn’t sit in you.”Of Kuzma’s month-long break, Parks doesn’t think the time off hurt him as much as his diet did during that span.“I think it was more so as he was healing up, he was eating bad food,” Parks said. “Eating the bad food, weight’s gotta come on. Moving forward, he has a diet he’s on that is changing that.”The other significant part of his off-court regimen that he stuck to was waking up at 6 a.m. for weight room sessions. It was as much an act of self-discipline as practicality: Adjusting his wake-up time also adjusted his bedtime – which kept him out of trouble. It was something he used to do in college, and bringing the routine back brought him some stability in his physical growth.“I couldn’t really do extra things at night that usually I wanted to do,” he said. “Whether that’s going out, having fun. Hanging out with friends. If I gotta get up at 6, I can’t go to sleep at 1 a.m., you know? It’ll kill my workout.”5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from the highest places.Right after the Lakers agreed to terms with Rondo, Rob Pelinka got a text: It was Kuzma, asking for Rondo’s number. He saw an opportunity to learn.“Everybody knows he’s probably one of the smartest players to ever play the game,” Kuzma said. “I wanted to be a sponge in that aspect. He’s helped me a lot on defense, just the way he talks and communicates.”Kuzma said he’s taken some time to develop that willingness to ask for help: In school growing up, he said he used to shy away from asking questions. But it’s been a while since he’s been afraid to ask for guidance – Parks started working with him in college when Kuzma sought him out on Twitter.The most high-profile workout Kuzma had this summer was a one-on-one with Kobe Bryant, which he described as both surreal and straightforward. It was only one session, but Pelinka has joked to Kuzma that his fadeaway this season reminds him of Black Mamba.It wasn’t that Kuzma was surprised by anything about his workout with Bryant – he was more pleased that Bryant lived up to all the expectations he had going in.Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersOne piece of advice Kuzma heard consistently from veterans as the offseason approached: Take some time off. Let your body rest and recover.Kuzma took a month away from the game and training. When May rolled around, he started training in Phoenix. He regretted the break.“Never taking a month off again,” he said. “I got a little fat.”That first weight room session back was like “death,” he says now. Working out with Lakers strength coach Adi Vase was “probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”But over time, he got back in the rhythm. He improved his squat form and posture, able to lift heavier and longer than he ever has before. He also worked on agility and lateral movement drills designed to make him a more athletic defender. It’s been noticed among management: Magic Johnson called Kuzma “chiseled” before training camp. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Fifth international Swimming Meeting commenced

first_imgThe international swimming meeting “Youth for Youth” commenced yesterday at the Olympic Pool Sarajevo.Official opening was preceded by the official defile of 371 participants from 31 swimming clubs from seven countries.The fifth international swimming meeting is organized by the Swimming Club Sport Time and the Association “Youth for Youth”, in cooperation with the Olympic Pool Sarajevo and under the patronage of the City of Sarajevo. This year’s meeting is of qualification character for the World Championship in Budapest in 2017.Bojan Nikolić yesterday broke two records in the disciplines 50 and 200 meters breaststroke, thus winning a golden medal. Final races were held in the afternoon hours.Today, on the second day of the meeting, a Grand Prix race was held in the discipline 50 meters crawl in male and female categories. Also, members of the Swimming Club Spid with developmental disabilities also performed. That was their first participation in the competition, stated the Association “Youth for Youth”.(Source: read more