Lakers News: Julius Randle Explains What’s Motivated His Transformation Into A Bench Player
Lakers Vs. Bucks Preview: L.a. Looks For First Win Of Road Trip In Milwaukee
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle started the majority of games during the first two years he actually played in the NBA after missing almost all of his first season with a broken leg, but coming into the 2016-17 campaign he’s had a different role.

Lakers head coach Luke Walton chose to bring Randle off the bench to start the year, and while the fourth-year forward didn’t take to the role right off the bat, he’s since flourished as a reserve, and as Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters pointed out, Randle is “the only player in the NBA averaging at least 11 points and 6 rebounds in 20 or fewer minutes per game.”

Randle explained to Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times what’s allowed him embrace his role as a bench dynamo for Los Angeles:

“Strictly just wanting to win,” Randle said of what is motivating him. “You don’t work your butt off over the summer for no reason. That’s motivation in itself.”

Randle famously got into the best shape of his life over the summer, and his growth has shown on the court, with his newfound lightness allowing him to easily blaze past centers when he plays as a small-ball five for the Lakers.

Entering a contract year, it wouldn’t have been shocking for Randle to bristle at a role coming off of the bench, and while it seemed like that would be the case initially Randle has since accepted the move is not a demotion. Walton obviously saw how much more Randle’s game would blossom while primarily being guarded by bigger, slower players, and what looked like a roadblock to a payday for Randle might have actually turned into a golden ticket.

Randle says that’s not his motivation, however, and winning does make any move easier to accept. The Lakers are 5-8 now, and if they continue that skid, it will be worth watching to see if Randle’s motivation to win ends up no longer mitigating any dissatisfaction he may have with not being a starter.

WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION? CHECK OUT THE NEW LAKERSNATION FORUM CLUB

You May Also Like

Lakers News: Dennis Schroder Discusses Individual Role Once LeBron James Returns

It feels as though LeBron James’ return to the Los Angeles Lakers lineup is imminent. Everything is pointing towards…

Lakers News: LeBron James To Miss Game Against Kings

The Los Angeles Lakers are already in a rough spot as long as Anthony Davis is out, but ahead of their showdown…

Lakers News: Mike D’Antoni May Use “Hack-a-Howard” If Needed

The Los Angeles Lakers will face Dwight Howard tonight for the first…

Lakers News: Kobe Bryant Told Kristaps Porzingis He Has A ‘Bright Future’

In the 2015 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks and president Phil Jackson made an interesting and surprising pick with the fourth overall selection, as they selected a 19-year-old forward out of Latvia named Kristaps Porzingis…