Before the Lakers came away with a 123-113 victory behind 46 points and 13 rebounds from Anthony Davis, the team played a highlight video for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart — the pieces in the trade that brought AD to Los Angeles.
“I enjoyed my time here, it’s my hometown,” Ball told Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times after the game. “I loved playing in front of them. Unfortunately, I was hurt both years, which is terrible for me — and I know for the fans. But I wish them the best going forward.”
A video emerged following the game of Ball and Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma — both first-round picks of the Lakers in 2017, Ball at No. 2 and Kuzma at No. 27 — appearing to have some words with each other.
Kuzma goes in for the handshake and hug and Lonzo backs away, jawing at his old buddy.
The duo have had an especially playful relationship, even having to be told to tone it down during their Lakers tenure together after Ball released a diss track called “Kylie Kuzma.”
Kyle Kuzma Explains Postgame Interaction With Lonzo Ball
Kuzma was the lone surviving member of the Lakers young core following the trade for Davis, so there’s a chance there’s a bit of animosity among the former teammates, especially on the court considering they are on teams going different directions.
The Pelicans are bottom dwellers at 11-24 and are waiting on No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson to debut. The Lakers are a Western Conference best 28-7. And as social media deep-divers have noticed, Ball and Kuzma don’t follow each other on Instagram anymore.
However, Kuzma seemed to dispel any bad blood between he and his former buddies.
“They came ready to play. Like you said, I’m still friends with those guys. It’s good to see them doing well and playing to the ability we all know they can play,” Kuzma said, via USA Today. “I thought (the video tribute) was cool. Obviously, the fans really embraced the young core while we had it. I know those guys enjoyed being here. It was cool to see … them to be on their feet and play well and play the well they’re playing.”
Ball scored 23 points and Ingram went for 22 for the Pelicans in the loss. Hart had five points off the bench.
Kuzma took it a step further on social media, explaining that Ball was just clowning his new, blonde-haired look.
Kyle Kuzma’s Blonde Hair a Polarizing Topic
Ball isn’t the first one to jeer him on the court for the look. While he was taking free throws against the Phoenix Suns, a fan yelled out: “Will the real Slim Shady please stand up,” a reference to Eminem’s 2000 hit.
The Lakers have a day off before heading to Detroit on Sunday.