A few weeks ago, while dealing with constantly circulating trade rumors, Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma said "You can be great anywhere" But that didn't mean he was volunteering to leave L.A. for a smaller market, even if he was being beaten up by fans and local media in the former.
Now that the deadline's over, Kuzma doesn't have to worry about getting traded for at least a few months. Instead, the immediate coverage of him and his teammates will simply revolve around a slightly sub-.500 Lakers team that currently sits three games back of the Clippers for the final postseason spot in the West, in part because their star (the most covered athlete in the country) has missed 17 games with a bum groin.
Speaking on SiriusXM's NBA Radio on Friday, Kuzma stated that if that's the case then that's okay because he prefers the frequently harsh coverage in one of the league's top two markets over being an afterthought in one of the league's tinier ones. "I want people to talk about me, good or bad," he said. "Because if they're not, you're not doing something right. I'd rather be talked about bad in L.A. than play in Orlando and not get talked about.".
That seems like a medium burn of Orlando, which brings back memories of Shaq's mid-'90s big fish in a small pond rhetoric. Or it just seems like he's saying he can take the heat. Either way, Kuzma will participate in the Rising Stars Challenge and the Skills Challenge this weekend in Charlotte.