Some of the Los Angeles Lakers players saw their playing time diminish with the addition of new players or other players getting more minutes. For example, Marc Gasol who joined the reigning NBA champions this past offseason as a starting center was demoted to a bench role after the team signed Andre Drummond.
Most recently, Montrezl Harrell, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, was benched the entire game against the Dallas Mavericks. Wesley Matthews is another example of a player who lost a part of his minutes on the court as Talen Horton-Tucker saw his role grow.
According to Kyle Kuzma, it is tough for any player to be in a position where his playing time shrinks. At the same time he stressed the importance of sacrificing for a greater good which is winning a championship.
“I mean it sucks at the end of the day. We’re all competitors and we all want to be out on the court for 48 minutes. That’s just how you are if you are a competitor,” Kuzma said. “If you don’t want to, I would never want a player my team like that.
“So I think that it’s all about sacrifice. That’s something that I really learned about last year. Something that I struggled with last year and was hard on myself and down a little bit. But I had great teammates that stuck with me and I figured it out.
“Now’s not the time to be harping on yourself. If you don’t play, you don’t play, just cheering your teammate. We’re trying to win championships right now and that’s the window that we’re in and it’s at all costs. If you don’t play, then you don’t play.”