Kobe Bryant is an NBA icon that players across the world have looked up to for years. The closest comparable player in terms of impact has been LeBron James, someone who himself had been mentored by Kobe Bryant earlier in his career.
Players that have had the chance to interact with either player are often full of compliments about what the pair have to say and have achieved in the game. Young players do so especially, as both Kobe and LeBron represent a measuring stick of success in the NBA.
Kyle Kuzma was lucky enough to form a close relationship with both men because he was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017. Kobe was around to guide the young Lakers rookies after his 2016 retirement and built a friendship with Kuz. LeBron joined the team in 2018 and mentored Kuzma until he was traded away in 2021 for Russell Westbrook.
Kuzma opened up on the impact that both men had on him during his time with the Lakers on Draymond Green’s podcast.