Kyle Kuzma might be the most important player on the Lakers right now. Yes, we are aware that LeBron James is on that roster. But the 6’9″ athletic beast could possibly the next Laker-for-life that sets up the team well into the 2020s as a contender once the Western Conference evolves out of the Warrior era. More importantly, Kuzma is perhaps the only player of the young, raw, and almost-traded core that can actually play alongside LeBron, making him even more valuable to both short and long-term goals of the franchise.
In less than two seasons, Kyle has solidified himself as one of the best late-round draft picks in history. Before that all came into fruition, Nike signed him on to a deal, and a year and a half later, he’s one of the faces of the brand’s most innovative basketball shoe ever – the self-lacing Adapt BB. Fresh off his Rising Stars MVP win at All-Star Weekend, Kyle sat down with Sneaker News to talk sneakers, the Adapt BB, and the best shoe game in the Laker locker room.
Kyle Kuzma Debuts the Adapt BB
To be one of the first to do anything, in any type of field, is commendable.
Kyle Kuzma on launching the Adapt BB
Sneaker News: Let’s rewind to two years ago when you signed with Nike and announced it on Twitter. What was going through your mind when the deal went down?
Kyle Kuzma: Growing up, I pretty much always wore Nike shoes as a kid. It’s all I wore. Then going to college in Utah, I wore Under Armour because of the school’s deal with that brand, and I was super excited to get out of those shoes and get back to Nike. It’s always the dream man. You see all those great player that you modeled your game after, and see what they wore and who they were endorsed by. You just wanna follow whatever your favorite players wore growing up.
SN: Nike believed in you early on. and now you’re part of the launch of their most innovative basketball shoe of this generation. How do you feel about being part of this launch?
KK: It’s very, very special. To be one of the first to do anything, in any type of field, is commendable. And for me to be part of the launch of the Adapt and pushing it out there was dope.
SN: So when Nike approached you with this self-lacing sneaker, how’d you react to it?
KK: I didn’t know what to expect, honestly. Because from a lacing standpoint, I thought it was just gonna get loose all the time and now work. But going up to the Nike Headquarters by Portland and have Nike come back and forth to LA, I got to test the shoe a lot and learn everything about the technology and the shoe, and it just turned out amazing.
Kyle Kuzma Debuts the Adapt BB
Anything Off-White x Nike. Love the Blazers.
Kyle Kuzma on his favorite lifestyle shoes
SN: How many times a game would you say you actually loosen the Adapt?
KK: I only do it when I go to the bench, so that’s only maybe three times a game. I let my feet breathe, sometimes on the court and I feel it move a little, I tighten it, but for the most part it molds to my feet and it sticks.
SN: Do you feel the therapeutic benefits of loosening the shoes when you’re on the bench?
KK: Definitely, because I have bigger and heavier feet and you really gotta let them breathe which helps prevent inflammation in the ankles and things like that. And it’s helpful that the process is quicker because if i’m getting subbed in and out quick, which happens a lot, I can just tap the button on the shoe.
SN: What do you like to wear of the court?
KK: Right now? Anything Off-White Nike man. Love the Blazers. Forces. The React Elements, Any type of Air Jordan 1, Air Maxes, that’s pretty much it.
SN: Would you say you have the best sneaker game in the Laker locker room right now? Outside of LeBron, of course.
KK: LeBron just gets some crazy stuff man, just because of who he is. But I would say….definitely me.