Beyond just having a new look on the court, the Lakers are featuring almost an entirely new coaching staff. With former head coach Luke Walton mutually parting ways earlier this summer, the Lakers brought on a star-studded staff featuring Frank Vogel as the top dog while having former head coaches Jason Kidd and Lionel Hollins working alongside him as assistants.
Los Angeles Lakers Coach Jason Kidd Showers LeBron James & Anthony Davis With Praise
Kidd took some time to speak with the media regarding his new role and more specifically, his thoughts on coaching generational talents like LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Kidd had some experience working with a young Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee as well as with an aging Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in Brooklyn, however, he has never had an opportunity to coach elite talent that was still functioning at its highest level.
While James had an injury-shortened year last season, make no mistake, the King still produces at his same historically dominant pace. Anthony Davis is already one of the games best talents and at just 26 years old, could possibly have room to develop into even a brighter star.
Kidd heaped immense praise on both James and Davis during his interview with ESPN. He called James one of the “smartest players in the world” and one of the “best players to ever play the game” and seems genuinely excited to take on the opportunity of coaching LeBron James. Kidd also mentioned that he could potentially share some wisdom about playing late into his career with the King in order to help extend the window of elite production that he has left. As far as Davis goes, Kidd lauded his versatility on both the offensive and defensive end, calling him “the total package”.
Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma Showing Offseason Adjustments Off at USA Basketball Camp
Though not the caliber of superstar that LeBron and AD are, Kyle Kuzma is looking to fill the void of third star left gaping by Kawhi Leonard‘s free agency decision. Having nearly scored 20 points per game in each of his first two seasons, Kuzma put in considerable work on both his shot and defensive ability this offseason in order to help take the next step in his development.
A natural scorer with plus athleticism, Kuzma often found himself as the target of LeBron James passes while cutting to the rim for easy looks last season. If he can develop his three-point shot to a more consistent level in catch and shoot situations, he would become one of the Lakers most feared offensive weapons.
Kuzma put in some serious work with renowned shooting coach Lethal Shooter this offseason and seems to have a new look jump shot that he is showing off at USA Basketball camp. With less of a load up and a quicker release, the differences in his shot are small but could wind up having a major impact on his ability to knock down open looks.
Kuzma also seems to have added a bit of muscle, something that should serve him well against the bigger power forwards who bullied him down low last season. Kuzma defends the perimeter fairly well for a young forward and with improvement around the rim, could wind up actually proving to be a passable defender this season.