Last week, Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma made an appearance at Nike’s Just Do It Headquarters, a new performance training facility located in the heart of Hollywood. Joined by Jared Goff, Chloe Kim and Leticia Bufoni, the four spoke on a brief panel to local media about the importance of training and how it’s allowed them to reach their full potential in their respective sports.
After the panel, they filled the roles of motivational coaches, as attendees were split up into groups and went through circuit-like training before the grand opening. The space, which is open now until Aug. 12, serves as a hub for Nike — sponsored athletes and fitness enthusiasts and brings all aspects from the Nike Training Club app — like workout programs and educational workshops — to life.
SLAM caught up with Kuzma during the event to talk offseason training, nutrition, giving advice to draft prospects and more:
SLAM: How important is offseason training and getting your body right to you?
Kuz: Offseason training is huge because it’s your time to not think about the team goals. It’s all about you and your individual goals. For me, training is a big part of my life because it’s what I do. It’s definitely huge.
SLAM: Anything you’re specifically trying to focus on this offseason?
Kuz: My body — getting stronger in my lower body in my stability and stances. That’s just the biggest thing.
SLAM: What’s your favorite Nike basketball campaign?
Kuz: Probably the old Kobe [Bryant] ones. I feel like those are the best ones that you always remember. That one campaign with the Kobe System when it really came out with the commercial with Kobe and Kanye [West]. That’s probably my favorite campaign.
SLAM: Speaking of Kobe, is there any specific signature sneaker model that you could just wear forever?
Kuz: Playing-wise, man, the Kobe 4, 1 and A.D. Mid. Those are my favorite ones — the look and durability on the court.
SLAM: You were the lead for the “Final Seconds” Kobe 1 Protro this past season. What was that like to be a part of that campaign?
Kuz: It’s super dope. Like you said, modeling for Nike and doing the Kobe shot — I’m already a Kobe fan and play for the Lakers — it’s kind of like a dream come true. You always dream of being a poster boy for something and being that type of guy. It was a special feeling for sure.
SLAM: What advice do you pass along to the No. 27 pick or guys that were selected after in this year’s draft?
Kuz: There’s a lot of things. The main thing is once you get drafted, you can be the No. 1 pick or the 60th pick — you’re an NBA player. It’s up to you to create however type of career you want to have. That’s the biggest thing. It’s an equal playing field once you get to the NBA.
SLAM: Is there something that you took for granted early on that you really focus on now as a pro?
Kuz: My nutrition. Coming from high school in Flint and not having enough money to eat healthy, going to college and you’re not thinking of eating salmon; you’re just trying to get by. Being a pro, you have to eat because you want your career to be super long and eating is a little thing, but it’s a big thing.
Registration for the Just Do It HQ is available via the NTC app or nike.com/la.
Drew Ruiz is a contributor to SLAM. Follow him @DrewRuiz90.
Photos via Getty Images.