Heading into the 2014-15 NBA season, there was great optimism for the Los Angeles Lakers with the return of Kobe Bryant and the addition of their lottery draft pick, Julius Randle. Unfortunately, things did not go according to plan as both Kobe and Randle suffered season-ending injuries.
Randle suffered a devastating leg injury in the team’s season opener against the Houston Rockets. However, during the process, Randle shares what he has learned from Kobe in an interview with Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding:
“One of the things I learned from Kobe: You focus on what you’re dealing with now,” Randle said. “Of course, you know the big picture, but I was just focused on what I was dealing with now. Getting the swelling out of my leg. Whatever I needed to do to build toward something. I was focused on the details more than looking at the big picture. If you look at the big picture, you start losing your focus on the little things.”
During Randle’s recovery this season, the rookie says the five-time champion still keeps in touch with him via talks and texts according to Ding:
Bryant previously vowed to stay on Randle during recovery, and Randle said Bryant has via talks and texts: “Seeing if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Going about my craft the right way. Building toward something. I learned that stuff from him.”
Randle, who was the highest draft pick for the franchise since James Worthy in 1982, showed his potential during the preseason. Appearing in six games, Randle averaged 6.8 points and 4.8 rebounds while showing the ability to go coast-to-coast with his strong ball handling.
With the Lakers looking forward to the NBA Draft and free agency, Randle will be a key piece for the franchise as they look to rebuild themselves into championship contenders once again. While Randle could not play this season, he has maximized his time off by becoming a student of the game and learning from one of the greatest players in NBA history.[divide]