On Friday, the NBA announced that Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma had been named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for November, which made the 22-year-old only the second Lakers' rookie to ever receive the award.
Jordan Clarkson won the honor in March of 2014.
Kuzma joined the Lakers with the no. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, which was one of the assets the Lakers acquired in the summer trade that sent D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to Brooklyn.
After earning MVP of the NBA Summer League Final, the Flint, Michigan native has hit the ground running. In his first 20 games, Kuzma leads the team in scoring with 16.7 points per game and is shooting 50.4 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from three-point land.
On Friday, the Lakers' Media Relations staff pointed out that Kuzma is the first rookie in NBA history to record at least 330 points, 120 rebounds and 30 made three-pointers in the first 20 games of his career.
What does that obscure statistic mean?
It suggests that Kuzma is a modern power forward with three-point range and is getting enough playing time to hit three-pointers, and that he's not a one-trick pony. The rookie is clearly scoring the ball and also rebounding with a pupose.
On Friday, Kuzma practiced with the team after missing Wednesday's game with back spasms and seemed appreciative of the honor because it was the first month of the season.
"I wish I was Rookie of the Month and we had a winning record, too," Kuzma said at Friday's practice. "That's probably be even better, but it's definitely a great accomplishment."
After completing practice on Friday, Kuzma sounded confident of playing on Saturday in Denver.