EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — The Los Angeles Lakers have spoken to Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma about toning down their social media roasting of each other following a rap diss track that Ball released on Kuzma this week.
Though Kuzma and Ball are close friends, the Lakers had grown concerned about the increasingly personal nature of some of the recent roasting between two of their young stars, sources told ESPN.
The back and forth ribbing went on throughout their rookie season, escalating from tweets and Instagram posts to Kuzma’s recent Bleacher Report “Player Hater of the Year” Award video making jokes at Ball’s expense and Ball’s response with the track titled “Kylie Kuzma” released on Monday.
The track included a lyric about Kuzma’s lack of a relationship with his biological father. Kuzma was raised by his mother, Karri.
That was enough to elicit a tweet from Karri Kuzma on Wednesday:
Everyone’s had their fun now get back to work.
— #0️⃣ 🏀 Kuz Momma 👌🏼💜💛 (@KarriKuzma) June 13, 2018
Sources said the team spoke to both players and that there are no lingering issues and that both players agreed to tone down the joking insults on social media. After dealing with a social media fiasco involving the D’Angelo Russell–Nick Young video in 2016, the Lakers wanted to make sure to nip things in the bud before the potential of anything escalating.
Throughout the season, the Lakers’ young players bonded off the court, and they took that online, engaging in friendly mocks and taunts on Instagram and Twitter.
If Ball wasn’t making fun of Kuzma wearing a Nike Fleece jacket for several days during a road trip, Kuzma was going at Ball’s fashion sense or eating habits.
Josh Hart — who is part of the same Lakers draft class and has taken friendly jabs back and forth with Kuzma and Ball on social media this offseason — and Brandon Ingram have found themselves in the crosshairs of the good-natured ribbing that spilled out onto social media, giving fans a glimpse of the relationships between some of the young Lakers players.
“As the season has progressed, everyone has gotten a lot closer,” Ingram told ESPN in February about the roasting. “Whether it is talking off the court, whether it is talking on the basketball court, we really have had a bond. Especially when we were winning games. There is a correlation between when we were winning, we are having fun, it translates off the court and we get to learn a little bit more about each other’s personalities.”
Ball and Kuzma took pride in being able to respond to each other’s jokes, like it was a badge of honor.
“All that matters is if you can clap back,” Kuzma said in February during an interview with Ball about their roasting. “That’s why you see he stopped going at me. Because he knows.”
The two friends said in February that they never took any of the shots personally because they knew what boundaries can and can’t be crossed. “Nah,” Ball told ESPN in February when asked if they ever take anything personally.
“Nah. Never,” Kuzma followed.
Ball added, “See, what you got to know is there’s set boundaries. Like certain stuff you can’t [bring up].”