Through the first four years of his NBA career, all with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kyle Kuzma was No. 0. He won a championship and made his name as an NBA player wearing the number.
But when he joined the Wizards in an offseason trade, Kuzma decided to switch to No. 33. He did that to honor one of the best scorers in Washington's franchise history.
"Out of respect for Gilbert Arenas," Kuzma told NBC Sports Washington. "That was probably one of the biggest things. When you think of the Washington Wizards, honestly the first person I think of, because my generation, is Gilbert Arenas, Agent Zero. Obviously, that played a big part, and having a fresh start. I just felt it was right."
Kuzma was able to meet Arenas for the first time this summer when he appeared on Arenas' podcast. Kuzma, 28, was in middle school when Arenas was at his peak as one of the best scorers in the NBA before a knee injury triggered his decline.
Kuzma can now write his own legacy with the No. 33 jersey. He will be the 19th player in franchise history to don the number and the first since Trey Burke in 2017.
In a way, Kuzma is lucky No. 33 is available. Hall of Famer Earl 'The Pearl' Monroe wore the 33 jersey as a rookie for the Baltimore Bullets in 1967-68, but he then switched to 10 the following season. No. 10 is now retired by the franchise with Monroe's name and number hanging in the rafters at Capital One Arena.