Through just four years in the NBA, Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma has been gifted the privilege of learning from two of the greatest basketball players of all time: Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
While Bryant retired the year before Kuzma joined the Lakers as the No. 27 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles basketball legend stuck around and mentored the young players on his former squad. LeBron made his way over to LA before the start of Kuz’ second year with the team in 2018.
With such a close working relationship with both James and Bryant, Kuzma is often asked to compare the two legendary talents.
The fourth-year NBA pro shared his response to that question in a recent interview. While James and Bryant were undeniably different in many ways, their approach to both basketball and life shared glaring similarities.
“They’re obviously two different people, and it’s really hard to compare both of them. They’re just so vastly different, but the one thing in common is they’re just both winners in life,” Kuzma said, via Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report. “They attack everything with a certain type of enthusiasm, whether it’s basketball, whether it’s business, whether it’s life, whether it’s working out, their approach to get to the gym or their approach to get to their bodies or lifting is just a winner’s enthusiasm. They’re just enthusiastically optimistic about everything. Their confidence levels are very, very high and very, very rare.”
In addition to their overwhelming success on the court, both Bryant and James have accomplished just as much off of it.
In 2013, Bryant helped co-found a venture capital firm that’s now worth more than $2 billion in assets, per The Washington Post. Among other incredible off-court accomplishments, he also wrote and created a short animated film called “Dear Basketball,” that won an Oscar back in 2018.
LeBron has a similar business acumen, owning 14 Blaze Pizza restaurants, stake in Beats Electronics and partial ownership of Liverpool F.C. The Lakers superstar also his own production company, SpringHill Entertainment, who produced Space Jam: A New Legacy in which he starred.
While their games may not be easily comparable, it’s clear that both of these all-time greats have the mentality to succeed in all aspects of life.