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February 16, 2018

Kyle Kuzma

Los Angeles, California

KYLE KUZMA: I haven't really necessarily met anybody yet outside of the rookies and stuff. So I kind of already know those guys from being in my draft class and whatnot. But I'm looking forward to meeting all the actual All-Stars and just people in the league in general.

Q. Big picture, how has your game evolved from the start of the season until now?
KYLE KUZMA: I think just confidence is getting better and better. My overall floor game, playmaking, making decisions, defensively getting better. So I'm just getting more and more comfortable.

Q. You're a very fashionable guy. If you were a superhero, which designer brand would you let create your superhero costume?
KYLE KUZMA: Oh, Gucci. Straight Gucci.

Q. What would your superhero power be?
KYLE KUZMA: Oh, sauce, a lot of sauce. Can deliver a lot of sauce.

Q. You're kind of a host in many ways because you play for the Lakers. What kind of tips do you have for the guys that you're going to meet, restaurant tips? What to see around town?
KYLE KUZMA: Stay away from paparazzi. That is the number one thing. A lot of guys don't have to deal with that in their respective cities, but this is L.A., TMZ is everywhere.

Q. When you think about China, what comes to your mind?
KYLE KUZMA: China? A lot the of basketball fans. China has been very good to the NBA game, spreading the global brand. There's a lot of fans over there that are die hard basketball fans.

Q. Can you say something in Chinese?
KYLE KUZMA: Say something in Chinese? Oh, let me see, I know ni hao, I know that one. I just did a Mandarin thing. I'm forgetting words right now. But I got you next time.

Q. You guys were just over there, you and Brandon [Ingram], coaching kids. It looked like you were outworking him and being a much better coach. What do you think you were bringing over there as opposed to Brandon?
KYLE KUZMA: You know, Brandon's still asleep right now. I had to try to wake him up. I was trying to block shots and bring some energy. But Brandon is Brandon. He was sleepy still, so it didn't help him at all.

Q. Did Brandon give you any advice? He played in this game last year. Did Brandon give you advice on how to come out tonight?
KYLE KUZMA: Shoot every time. Yeah, shoot every time.

Q. How many minutes are you going to play tonight considering you came off a back-to-back?

Q. Oh, it's only 40 minutes?
KYLE KUZMA: Well, then 40, whatever it is, 40.

Q. Two 20 minute halves.
KYLE KUZMA: Okay, 40.

Q. Luke was saying let's be cautious out there and then you responded to him on Twitter.
KYLE KUZMA: Oh, yeah, I'm good. Luke played me 14 minutes last night. I'm going to take some energy out tonight.

Q. On the social media front, you and Lonzo [Ball] make fun of each other a lot. Can you talk about how that started and how good you guys can be?
KYLE KUZMA: You know, it all started, I think he started it at first. He put my clothes online or something. Then after that I just kind of tried to attack his swag every single day. It's not very good. Yeah. But no, no, we're great friends. It's great playing with him. He's a good guy. Probably one of the closest guys on the team that I am with. We can be pretty special. When he gets healthy, he can play right away, so...

Q. What do you think about Lonzo's music?
KYLE KUZMA: His music? Oh, he's a good rapper. He's got a lot of mainstream stuff, but I've heard his off the record raps. He's pretty talented.

Q. Who is your favorite rapper?
KYLE KUZMA: Mine? My favorite rapper is Drake.

Q. Knowing where you were drafted at, what does this mean to you tonight to step out here on this court and play in the Rising Stars game?
KYLE KUZMA: It means a lot. You know, I wasn't supposed to be here. I was the 27th pick. Not too many people thought I was going to play the way I am. You know, it's just a testament to having confidence and work ethic and believing in yourself. Just keeping the marathon going.

Q. Karri [Kuzma, his mother]] been tweeting about this?
KYLE KUZMA: Karri? I don't even want to look at her Twitter today. I don't even want to. It's probably crazy right now. I might have to tell her to shut it down for 36 hours.

Q. What are you most looking forward to over the weekend in terms of the Slam Dunk, Three-Point? What are you most excited about?
KYLE KUZMA: I mean this game. I'm playing in it. It's going to be really fun. I'm excited to be out there and compete with guys. The Slam Dunk is going to be pretty cool. My boy Larry [Nance Jr.], heard he's got a couple tricks up his sleeve. He's a Cavalier now, but he's still my guy, so I'm rooting for him for sure.

Q. What would it mean to you to win MVP of the Rising Stars game?
KYLE KUZMA: I mean, it would be cool. It would be cool.

Q. You've been recognized as one of the better rookies this season. But do you still carry that mentality that you want to prove yourself to everyone every single game?
KYLE KUZMA: Yeah, for sure. I think that's what life is about. Always -- there's always going to be obstacles and people that doubt you. So it's about proving people wrong and bettering yourself and trying to be the best you. So every single year there's going to be something else that people are going to say I can't do or you can't do in general, and it's your job to prove them wrong.

Q. If there was a guy on the other team tonight you could take to the basket or make look silly for one night, who would it be?
KYLE KUZMA: On the other team?

Q. Yeah.
KYLE KUZMA: Oh, probably Joel Embiid. I tried to dunk on him earlier this year and I missed. So I've got some payback for him, hopefully.

Q. What are your predictions for this season's MVP?
KYLE KUZMA: This season's MVP? Oh, James Harden.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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