Julius Randle On Never Losing Confidence: ‘I Owe That Mindset Largely To Kobe’

Julius Randle

Julius Randle’s rookie season barely got going before it was ended in the Los Angeles Lakers season opener against the Houston Rockets. Randle suffered a broken fibula and was ruled out for the entire season, a massive setback for the Lakers and Randle’s own personal development.

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Randle is already far along on the road to recovery, having been cleared for non-contact basketball activities. In a piece that he wrote for The Cauldron, Randle said that he never had doubts about his ability to recover because of Kobe Bryant:

The leg feels great, and even though I was extremely anxious during the earliest stages of the rehab period, I never let doubts take seed in my mind. I never wavered or lost confidence. I owe that mindset largely to Kobe.

Randle expounded on exactly what Kobe did for him after his injury and the impact it had as a lifelong Kobe fan:

There he was, one of the greatest players of all time, one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet — and the guy who was my boyhood idol — and he’s calling and texting me on the night I got hurt, and in the days afterward. “This is no time for a pity party,” he said. “Your recovery starts NOW.” That’s the thing about No. 24: When he says something, you listen. And you believe him.

The fact that Kobe took the time to stay in the ear of Randle says a lot about Kobe’s belief in the Lakers rookie. Many players never fully recover from major injuries like this, but Randle has a mindset that nothing will hold him back.

Randle is expected to be ready for Summer League and he will likely team with fellow rookie Jordan Clarkson and whomever the Lakers draft this off-season. Randle is looked at as a major part of the Lakers future and his return will be highly anticipated.

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