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His rookie season in the NBA proved to be a difficult one for Lonzo Ball in terms of dealing with the physicality of the league.
With that in mind, the UCLA product is focusing on building strength and stamina for his follow-up NBA season, with the hope of becoming less injury-prone, says Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kyle Kuzma.
“He has been in there pretty much every day I have been in here around this time,” Kuzma told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk in regards to Ball’s weight training. “You can tell he is taking the weight room a lot more serious and that is going to help him by allowing him to recover faster and hopefully, next year, be on the court more because of that weight room.”
Ball played in only 52 games as a rookie because of injuries, averaging 10.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 7.2 assists a game and earning second-team All-Rookie recognition.
Since the season ended more than a month ago for the Lakers, Kuzma, Ball and Josh Hart have been among team’s young players who have been in the team’s practice.
Kuzma says watching other rookies like Jayson Tatum of the Celtics, Donovan Mitchell of the Jazz and Ben Simmons of the 76ers go deep into the playoffs has been motivation for him and his fellow young bucks.
“All those guys are getting talked about a lot,” Kuzma said. “For me, if I was in the playoffs, it would be the same way. Those guys are doing well.”