Gregg Popovich compares Kyle Kuzma to a young Manu Ginóbili in Lakers and Spurs pregame

Kyle Kuzma
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 05: (L-R) Kyle Kuzma #21 and Kemba Walker #26, head coach Gregg Popovich and Myles Turner #56 of the 2019 USA Men’s National Team talk during a practice session at the 2019 USA Basketball Men’s National Team World Cup minicamp at the Mendenhall Center at UNLV on August 5, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs faced off on Sunday, in the Lakers’ second game of the weekend in Texas after they beat the Dallas Mavericks in a classic on Friday.

Gregg Popovich has been the head coach of the Spurs for over two decades now, but has had the chance to coach some Lakers as a part of the coaching staff for Team USA throughout the years. This year, Popovich took over head coaching duties for the squad as another Laker was set to come through in the red, white, and blue.

That Laker was Kyle Kuzma, who sadly had to leave the team before the real FIBA tournament started as he suffered a left foot/ankle injury (same injury that he is just now returning from).

Gregg Popovich was asked about Kuzma and what he saw from him before and during their time together on Team USA, providing some interesting comments. Whether these comments are compliments remains to be seen.

On one hand, Popovich seems to be giving Kuzma some compliments here, saying he “became a big fan” of his during their time together. Hell, he even compares Kuzma to Manu Ginóbili, who may be a Hall of Famer someday.

The thing is, the comparison that Popovich made was that Kuzma seems to be like a “young” Manu, the way he plays with a lot of energy and “no rhyme or reason”.

Either way, Kuzma is still, in fact, young. He has plenty of time to figure out how to play the game with poise and control, the same way that Manu did under Popovich. Now, will Kuzma ever get to the level of talent that Manu ended up at in the prime of his career? That’s doubtful, but it’s still nice to hear that Popovich sees the young, inexperienced version of a multi-NBA champion in Kuzma.

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