“Lakers host their annual Media Day in El Segundo, CA. Monday September 29, 2014. (Thomas R. Cordova-Daily Breeze/Press-Telegram)”
In between countless workouts and film sessions, Julius Randle had a rare moment to himself where he could soak everything in. The Lakers drafting him seventh overall became a “dream come true.” So did teaming up with Kobe Bryant, his childhood idol.
Randle had plenty of time to register it all the past three months. But as he put on the Lakers’ uniform for the team’s annual media day on Monday, everything struck him at once.
“I was looking at myself in the mirror not too long ago,” Randle said. “Let me keep this on.”
Yet, Randle fully understands nothing becomes guaranteed in ensuring that he will always wear that purple and gold uniform laced with a “16 X” logo indicating the number of championships they won.
When the Lakers drafted Randle, it appeared likely he would start and arguably become the second most important player on the team behind Bryant. Since then, the Lakers acquired 12-year NBA veteran Carlos Boozer off the amnesty wire, and Lakers coach Byron Scott has indicated he currently favors him to start at power forward.
“Carlos probably shoots the ball a little bit better,” Scott said. “But Julius probably handles the ball better too. They have a lot of things they can help each other with, but Carlos is one of those guys who is a positive guy and can be a mentor to him.”
Randle sounded open to the idea.
“That doesn’t bother me at all,” Randle said. “I don’t want anything given to me in the first place. He’s been at this level and he’s played at such a high, productive level. So whether he starts or not, he deserves what he gets because he’s put in the time and he’s been successful. But I have to prove myself through my work ethic and me producing because nothing’s going to be given to me.”