Kyle Kuzma and the Los Angeles Lakers will be taking on the Denver Nuggets this Friday, kicking off their Western Conference Finals series. On paper, this matchup doesn’t seem inconceivable as the Lakers are the top team out of the Western Conference while the Nuggets are only the third seed. There have been crazier matchups to occur within the WCFs. However, you’re glossing over an insane season-long narrative connected to another team if you just look at the matchup on paper and think there’s nothing wrong. I’m, of course, referencing the Los Angeles Clippers who were heavily favored before and during most of the regular season as prospective champions once the NBA Finals came around. They did what is arguably the most embarrassing thing you can do in the NBA Playoffs at this point, losing the series in seven games after being up 3-1 in the series. Not only that, but the Clippers had a devastatingly bad 4th quarter that caused them to lose by 15 points.
Now, this is obviously hilarious to us here at Lakers Outsiders. It was just as funny to the rest of Lakers Twitter, and even Trail Blazers guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, as it appears that many throughout the league didn’t really like the Clippers. Today, after the Lakers practice, a reporter asked Kyle Kuzma if he took any joy in seeing their Staples Center rivals get eliminating. He gave a veteran-esque response, telling the reporters that he’s only worried about the team in front of the Lakers (reported by Christian Rivas/Silver Screen & Roll and James Herbert/CBS Sports).
Kyle Kuzma was asked if the Lakers had any Clippers schadenfreude.
"No, not really, because we're not focused on the Clippers and we never really were. It's all about who's in front of you. If you focus on other teams instead of taking care of your food, shit happens like that."
— James Herbert (@outsidethenba) September 16, 2020
Kuzma could have taken the petty route and said, “Yes, I hate them”, but sadly for us he is much more mature than us here at Lakers Outsiders. Frank Vogel and most of the Lakers have been preaching preparation throughout the entirety of the bubble, so it’s not surprising to hear Kyle Kuzma have this take. Still, it sort of seems like one of Kuzma’s teammates was watching the Clippers game last night. He seemed to take joy in it…
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) September 16, 2020