The only Lakers representative at USA Basketball camp ahead of the FIBA World Cup, Kyle Kuzma is looking to take advantage of his time with the national team and soak up as much information as he can. Surrounded by a combination of veteran All-Stars and young up and comers, Kuzma gets to take part in the competitive camp sessions that have helped forge some of the NBA’s best talents over the years.
The 2019 FIBA World Cup team is headed by legendary coach Gregg Popovich, the unwavering rock of the San Antonio Spurs dynasty. A defensive-minded wizard, the time – no matter how brief – Kuzma gets to spend playing for Popovich should leave him with some incredibly useful knowledge. Especially on the defensive end.
Known for his incredibly high work ethic and coachability, Kuzma himself seems to be relishing the opportunity to learn from one of the game’s masters.
“He’s my favorite coach of all time,” Kuzma said via USA Basketball, “Growing up, I’m a hoops junkie, watching a lot of the Spurs teams and he’s won. He’s won at every level he’s been at. So, to be here and learn, to be around him, it’s really great.”
When pressed a bit more on the subject and asked what specifically he hoped to take away from his time under Popovich, Kuzma cited his experience – and the experience of other coaches on the staff.