NBA players will go to extreme lengths to notch triple-doubles. Ricky Davis once infamously tried to miss a shot on his own basket just to get that elusive 10th rebound. Triple-doubles have surely been on the mind of Kyle Kuzma lately. Aside from his wonderful all-around play lately giving him several chances at his first, he was traded this offseason for Russell Westbrook, the most notable triple-doubler in NBA history. Getting one would likely be pretty meaningful for Washington’s young forward.
He very nearly did so against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. He scored 19 points and pulled in 10 rebounds… but it wasn’t the Magic that kept from him his 10th assist. No, that would be teammate Corey Kispert. Kuzma kicked the ball out to Kispert for what looked like an open 3-point attempt, but Kispert instead made the extra pass. That deprived Kuzma of a possible 10th assist. Take a look at his reaction after Kispert passes the ball. Needless to say, he isn’t happy with his rookie teammate.
The moment was ultimately insignificant. Kuzma didn’t exactly flip out at Kispert, and there’s not likely to be any lingering bad blood. It’s just one of those little moments that makes the doldrums of an NBA season more interesting. Kuzma already has a championship ring. He got his rookie extension from the Lakers. Is it so wrong that he’d also like to fill up the stat sheet a bit?
He’ll have to settle for yet another strong outing. It’s not as though 19-10-9 nights were all that common when he was a Laker, but Kuzma has expanded well beyond the supporting role he held in Los Angeles. He’s now averaging roughly 24 points and 11 rebounds in his past 11 games and positioning himself as one of Washington’s pillars of the future. A triple-double would’ve been the cherry on top, but if he keeps playing this well, it won’t take him long to actually get one. As for Kispert? Well, the rookie should probably expect a bit more hazing in the days to come for his transgression.