Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma has returned to social media after a hiatus.
The 25-year-old Kuzma deactivated his Twitter after he was the source of harsh criticism and trade rumors.
His first post back was a commercial for Puma, showing off his five-year deal with the company.
The commercial itself features Kuzma hard at work in the gym, with him responding to negative comments in the background.
— kuz (@kylekuzma) November 27, 2020
“For every failure, for every trial, for every negative comment,” Kuzma said in the ad, “thanks for the motivation.”
The commercial is an attempt to push back against the many critics he has on his social media accounts.
Many of these critics call for Kuzma’s trade, something that has been rumored the past couple years.
Kuzma’s Trade Rumors
Though it ended up being Lonzo Ball that was shipped for Davis, rumors haven’t stopped swirling around Kuzma.
Each season it appears that he is at the center of any move the Lakers look to make.
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) November 13, 2020
It is understandable, as the young forward has plenty of upside in the league.
The reality is that if he weren’t on a loaded Lakers roster, he would likely be a starter on many teams in the NBA.
If not, he is at least a dependable scorer off the bench.
All of this talk, however, has taken a toll on Kuzma who has made it clear in the past that he wants to stay with the Lakers.
It seems like the forward takes these rumors personally, and it clearly affects him.
Although, when paired with the harsh criticisms he is the target of on social media, it would be hard for him to think otherwise.
The Target of Criticism
Kuzma has been the target of criticism from Lakers fans throughout his career.
Though he has put up solid statistics, Kuzma has failed to reach his full potential.
For many Lakers fans, this is a disappointment.
The criticism reached its peak during this year’s NBA Finals against the Miami Heat.
In the first two games of the series, Kuzma scored three and 11 points respectively, struggling to find any comfort on the court.
Following the game, Lakers fans started a petition saying that Kuzma shouldn’t get a ring if the Lakers win.
As of today, the petition has received more than 18,000 signatures.
C’mon man 😂🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/SCO4Vh00VP
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) October 4, 2020
The criticism also stems from the expectations surrounding Kuzma going into last season.
After putting together a solid sophomore campaign in 2018-19 with 18.7 PPG, many thought that he would become the third scoring option for the Lakers.
Instead, Kuzma received a heavily reduced role with the team and came off the bench.
While he still averaged 12.8 PPG in only 25 minutes, this was still a letdown for many fans.
Under each of his tweets, comments ask if this is his last day with the Lakers, who he is getting traded to and that the Lakers don’t care about him.
Over the course of a season, this understandably adds up.
Regardless, for many Lakers fans there is a desire to move on from Kuzma and give him an opportunity somewhere else.
For now, Kuzma seems like he is just trying to block out these negative messages, using this return to social media to make a statement.