How Kyle Kuzma recruited Delon Wright to D.C., learned fashion from him

How Kyle Kuzma recruited new teammate Delon Wright to D.C. originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

WASHINGTON — Long before he was going viral for wearing a long-sleeved pink turtleneck before a game with the Wizards last season, Kyle Kuzma had a much more normal fashion sense as a college student. This was years before he would sign an NBA contract, travel the globe and work with professional stylists.

But he had a connection to that world via his University of Utah teammate Delon Wright, whose older brother, Dorell, would give him hand-me-downs. Dorell played 11 years in the NBA and made enough money to the point he could let go of some designer clothes after cycling through them a few times.

Dorell would give his clothes to Delon, who would wear them himself. Then, he would pass them onto his teammates. 

“Kuz was one of the guys that I passed them to. I don’t take credit for [his fashion sense nowadays], but he knows. He definitely took it to another level. I could never go to where he goes,” Delon said.

“All the crazy stuff, that’s on his own. I will never take credit for that. But initially, him getting a taste of the finer clothes, I probably definitely introduced him to that.”

Delon Wright met with Wizards media members for the first time on Tuesday at a camp for local kids at Trinity Unversity in Northeast Washington. He said Kuzma helped lure him to D.C.

Kuzma pitched Wright on the opportunity the Wizards had in their backcourt. Wright is lined up to be their primary back-up guard and a key cog in their defense.

Wright, 30, ultimately signed a 2-year deal in free agency and considers Kuzma as a big reason why.

“He was probably a better recruiter than [Wizards president] Tommy [Sheppard],” Wright joked.

The Wizards had the 25th-ranked defense last season in part because they couldn’t stop dribble penetration by guards on the perimeter. At 6-foot-5, Wright is a big defender at the point guard position and is known for forcing turnovers.

He’s also a solid 3-point shooter, having knocked down 37.9% from deep last season with Atlanta. The Wizards, meanwhile, were 30th out of 30 NBA teams last season in 3-pointers made.

Understandably, Kuzma saw Wright as a perfect fit for the Wizards. 

“He knows what I can do. That was his recruitment pitch,” Wright said.

While Kuzma and Wright get along very well, there may be some competition between them when it comes to pregame fashion. Kuzma may get a lot of attention for his fits, but Wright has his own reputation to uphold.

“I’m definitely going to step it up this year. I’ve gotta compete. I’ve been the best-dressed on most of my teams, but Kuz is [tough],” Wright said.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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