Lakers rookie Julius Randle had his best game of the preseason with eight points, five rebounds and two blocked shots in the Lakers win over the Utah Jazz Sunday night. Most importantly, Randle came out in the second half with a defensive effort that head coach Byron Scott has been waiting for, all of training camp.
After the game, when Kobe Bryant was asked about the potential of Randle’s growth, in part due to having great mentors like himself and Scott, Bryant’s expletive-filled answer urging Randle not to mess up the opportunity he’d been given, made headlines.
But, what was not as rapidly reported was Randle’s answer to a similar question before Bryant’s post-game media session.
It’s up for me to mess it up. Kobe said, ‘You can’t mess it up, unless you want to,'” Randle said while answering a question about the conversations he’s had with Bryant and Scott about the opportunity he’s been given. “I [would] intentionally have to mess things up, having a coach like Byron, learning from greats like Kobe, Boozer, Nash, all those guys. And, on top of that playing for the Lakers organization. I’m in the perfect situation, I can’t mess it up.”
Though Bryant definitely got his point across after the game, the good news is, Randle had already been given that speech from Bryant personally, and he’s happy to be on the same page. For Randle’s full response, check out our video above. For more post-game reaction from Randle, see our video below.[divide]
VIDEO: Julius Randle Talks “Tough Love” After The Game