One of the most disappointing things that happened to the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2014-15 NBA season was seeing rookie Julius Randle go down with a season-ending injury in the first game at the Staples Center back in October. Outside of Kobe Bryant suffering another season-ending injury, Randle going down was the worst scenario for the Lakers.
The Lakers brass was excited Randle fell to them with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft and many hope he’ll be the future face of the franchise, but seeing him go down was devastating to say the least.
Although Randle played only 14 minutes in his rookie season, the Kentucky product has received high praise from the right people about handling the injury process. Randle has remained focused on improving regardless of his situation and that mentality has put him in the good graces of many in the Lakers organization.
Head coach Byron Scott talked about Randle and how he believes his first season wasn’t wasted due to injury, via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
“I don’t think it’s a wasted year,” Scott said. “It’s a wasted year as far as him not being able to play on a consistent basis. But he still can learn by watching and observing what players are doing, especially guys he will be guarding in the near future. It will be good to watch them play and learn as much as he can from them.”
After Monday’s game against the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers will play two more games at home before embarking on five-game road trip. Randle will travel with the team on the road in which the Lakers will face the Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers.
During this trip, Randle will get a taste of what it is like on the road while also being able to check out some opponents he’ll be facing next season. It’ll be another step in the process of Randle becoming an NBA player and the cornerstone of the franchise that everyone hopes he will be.[divide]