The Los Angeles Lakers began the 2020-2021 NBA season as the reigning champions with a repeat in sight. During the offseason, the team made moves to further improve their championship-winning roster. The hopes were high, but the Lakers’ quest for the second straight title ended early.
In the first round of the playoffs, the defending champions clashed with the number two seed Phoenix Suns. Los Angeles managed to win twice, even going up 2-1, before being eliminated in six games. Anthony Davis was out after Game 3 for the Lakers due to an injury.
According to Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, it wasn’t just one thing that led to his team getting eliminated in the first round. “A little bit of everything,” he said, per Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report. “Injuries throughout the season, changing roles, certain guys in the lineup, certain guys not in the lineup. The NBA season is already mentally draining, and when you have a lot of that, it just adds to it.”
Kuzma himself is currently under contract with the Lakers having signed a three-year extension in December. This past season, the 25-year-old forward averaged 12.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.