When LeBron James is on your team, expectations go flying through the roof. Despite that, not too many people expect the Los Angeles Lakers to be true contenders this season. Whether it’s by virtue of their youth or playing in the Western Conference, there is a lot of doubt about what the Lakers can accomplish in their first year with James on the team.
Kyle Kuzma doesn’t sound as concerned. Speaking at a charity event in Flint, Kuzma spoke about the team’s expectations and whether they can be good from the jump.
Following via ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk:
“We are both definitely excited about the roster and the pieces that we have. And we think that a lot of people are underestimating us. It is definitely going to be fun playing with all these new guys.
“I don’t know why people kind of just rule us out because we are young,” said Kuzma, who was a first-team All-Rookie performer after averaging 16.1 points and 6.3 rebounds last season. “We are hungry. We are competitive. Anybody that watched us play last year, we were in a lot of games.
“Having one of the greatest players of all time is going to raise what we do, raise our level of focus and the team to a higher level. I don’t really see why [there is a need to be] so patient.”
The West is super competitive and the Lakers will always receive skepticism and “hate” from fans of other teams by virtue of who they are. As constituted, it’s difficult to say if the Lakers are contenders, especially without having seen them play a game, yet. But with that LeBron character in town, they will have a shot against anyone.