Rookies Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma have gotten a lot of attention for their good-natured insults on social media, but the Lakers have talked to them about scaling it back, according to Ramona Shelburne and Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.
The jabs are usually about fashion, food or something harmless, but team officials became concerned when Ball released a song that mentioned Kuzma’s lack of a relationship with his biological father. Both players agreed to tone down the ribbing.
Two years ago, the Lakers were caught in a social media controversy involving Nick Young and D’Angelo Russell that led to Russell being ostracized in the locker room. Neither player is still with the team.
There’s more Lakers news from Los Angeles:
- Ball received a platelet-rich plasma shot in his left knee last month and was cleared for basketball activities last week, Youngmisuk writes in a separate story. Ball, who sat out the last eight games of the season with a knee contusion, called it a minor injury that didn’t require surgery. The Lakers want Ball to increase his strength this summer and become less susceptible to injuries. “Just been in the weight room, trying to put on that weight,” he said. “And on the court, a lot of ballhandling, a lot of shooting. I am trying to critique everything and fine tune and get ready for next year.”
- Kobe Bryant will have a limited role in the Lakers’ pursuit of free agents this summer, relays Tom Schad of USA Today. Bryant said this week he will call any potential targets if asked, but he won’t sit in on recruiting meetings. “If the players have questions, or if [the Lakers] want me to reach out and call a player or something like that, talk to the player, kind give my two cents on what it was like to play here in this market, I’ll certainly do that,” Bryant said on The HoopsHype Podcast. “But in terms of being part of the meeting in any official way, the answer is no.”
- The Lakers need a strong performance from president of basketball operations Magic Johnson to help land a couple of elite free agents, writes Bill Plaschke of The Los Angeles Times. He contends that Johnson was given a front office position so he could use his celebrity and reputation to help attract stars.