Kentucky Forward Julius Randle Grew Up A Kobe Bryant Fan

Kentucky Forward Julius Randle Grew Up A Kobe Bryant Fan


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This year’s NBA draft is full of a number of players who could be future stars at the next level. Guys like Jabari Parker, Dante Exum, and Andrew Wiggins are all very highly touted prospects.

The latest big name to declare for the draft was Kentucky power forward Julius Randle who helped lead the Wildcats to the National Championship game this year.

Randle appeared on The Dan Patrick Show this morning, and despite growing up in Dallas, his favorite player as a child was a certain popular Laker:

“Kobe Bryant for sure. Growing up I was a huge Kobe Bryant fan.”

Randle is currently projected to be selected in the top six of the draft, and as it stands, the Lakers would be in that group right now making Randle a strong possibility for the Lakers.

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The Lakers will almost definitely be in need of frontcourt help as there are huge questions surrounding the possible returns of Chris Kaman, Jordan Hill, and Pau Gasol, all of whom are free agents.

Randle is aware that he could end up in Los Angeles, and also told Dan Patrick that he wouldn’t mind becoming a Laker and could learn a lot from Bryant himself:

“Playing with him (Bryant) would be amazing as well, I could learn a lot from him […] I’ve always been a Laker fan and it would be a tremendous honor to play there.”

Randle, a traditional power forward with a strong, NBA-ready body, could give the Lakers a scoring option down low which will be needed, especially if Gasol leaves in free agency.

With many believing that Kobe Bryant will not be able to return to his previous form, the Lakers could use someone like Randle to get the Lakers back to their championship form.
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  • Evan

    Drafting a traditional PF would be a move only D’Antoni-less Lakers should make.

    • kookiebuger

      I doubt Randle’s game will translate well in the NBA.

  • Stryfe

    If He’s the 6th pick, trade him for Kevin Love. Add future picks as well. Get Monroe, Ariza, Lowry. Let Gasol leave in the upcoming free agency . Retain Hill, Sacre, Kelly, Johnson, Henry, Bazemore, Meeks, Farmar. Sign Earl Clark or Beasley for vet. minimum.

    Starting Five: Monroe, Love, Ariza, Kobe, Lowry

    • anonymous

      Delusional Lakers fan strikes again! You’re not getting all of that.

      • Stryfe

        That’s only an idea. Drink the shut up juice! Your opinion doesn’t matter. Get Lost

      • Top4pick

        Signing Ariza is plausible and I like the guy but don’t overpay him, lowry again plausible, Monroe doubt it since he’s a RA and thanks to Kobe (love the man but shouldn’t been paid that much) our cap space minimized, and for Love it’s a stretch but, if lakers end up 6-8 pick then draft whoever T-wolves want for Love and pray to god Kuptchack can still do another steal like kwame for pau

        • richard

          good riddance… by the way… it was not Kwame for Pau.. Menphis was going after Mark Gasol in that trade…

          • Top4pick

            At the time no one knew who Marc Gasol was beside lakers fan that followed the 2nd round draft when they took him. It wasn’t like Oh this Marc Gasol is gonna be a beast for sure. However Marc Gasol was a piece, they want cap relief by giving away Pau. That’s how they were able to afford to get Randolph.

          • richard

            the fans didn’t know, but the executives knew… Mark Gasol was very good in the Olympics and the world championships… they knew he was good.

      • Slickrick2398

        How is it delusional if Lakers got salary cap to sign both Monroe and Lowry..?

      • richard

        IT’s not actually far fetch of an idea…. Minnie might be enticed to trade love for that first round pick.. specially if Randle would be available by the 6th pick… Love is going to go somewhere… Adelman knew this. However, we can’t sign Monroe if we get Love.. the CBA cannot allow this, they will be well over the cap…

        If Randle can be a player many says he can be at the NBA level, then why not go after a good center on the cheap, like Hawes or Gortat…

        Hawes, Randle*, Ariza, Kobe, Blake
        Hill, Sacre, Kelly,Henry,Bazemore,Meeks,Farmar

        I think this will be reasonable and possible under the new CBA.

    • SD

      I wouldn’t keep Johnson. I don’t think the Lakers will go after Lowry…He’ll be too expensive. Ariza could come back. Love is an option via trade or signing him next year. With so many needs, I could see the Lakers trading down (if trading for Love is out of the question) for a player and a pick…

      Maybe the Suns would like our pick if it’s the 6th pick. We could get 2 of their picks…say the 14th and the 27th picks….which would give them the 6th and 18th picks….

      Maybe we’d go after James Young and Zach Lavine. (Young could probably start next season.

      If Pau isn’t kept, I think the Lakers would resign Hill as the starting center if the draft pick isn’t Embiid.

      • nlruizjr

        sign vonley (SP), Hill is not a center, mentally or physically. I like Hill but not for center.

    • Nalin Shukla

      Sign Kelly and sacre? No thanks

      • Jay

        We don’t need to sign scare he already on the team for another year. Do you people not know who’s under contract next year?

    • Baxter

      Like your choices but not practical, Lakers can’t afford three free agents of this caliber. Best use of cap in 2014 is to go for Monroe. Also forget Beasley & Clark; Kelly & Johnson have more upside. Lakers should draft PG ( Exum, Smart) unless picks falls in top 5 . Than choices are Embiid,Parker, Wiggins, Randle , Vonleh. Gordon is also viable but concern is his outside shooting & poor free throw percentage. Henry, Blazemore, Johnson have big upside if they all come through coupled with improved Farmar ( who can also play SG), Meeks, Kelly, Sacre & Hill, Lakers will be a force. Can make playoffs with this roster with healthy Kobe & part time Nash. If no Nash due to health than Marshall must deliver. Biggest concern is DEFENSE. Lakers should hire Nate McMillan or Michael Cooper to coach D.

    • Jay

      Your an idiot you still realize we have Steve Nash’s contract so that can’t be possible

      • Stryfe

        You’re worse than idiot! Dead i mentioned that it’s only an idea. Might be a wishful thinking as well.

  • Zimmeredge

    My Man all the young bloods coming to the league are just Talking about Kobe and the Lakers. They will all load the dice to play for us during pre draft workouts and interviews but only one will have the Luck to wear purple and gold next season. Doesńt matter if they are not selected number one.
    Boston and Lakers in the lottery it happens barely every one year in a decade

    • Leonardo Muniz Zanetti

      i totally agree!! who cares about number one pick when you can be in the greatest teams ever??

      • Zimmeredge

        Yeah right! And who wants to play for philly or bucks. I mean Utah and Orlando are okay i guess but the celtics and the Lakers i mean… With all due respect to them they are not up to us.

        • comrade24

          yeah… i’m sure people are really beating down the doors to put on a parka and move to mormon country. lol

          • Zimmeredge

            From a historical stand point 😉 Yeah philly had AI but that´s pretty much about it. T’was more than 10 years ago now. The bucks did not have a true championship contender sincère Lewis alcindor

  • Jason Decker

    Randle has the opportunity to develop and outside game that would make him dangerous like K-love because of his rebounding prowess

    • Top4pick

      I guess…but idk. Just to clarify, I don’t watch NCAA sports cuz I’m not impressed with student-athletes thinking they’re good. Until they go to pro and impress me then my opinion changes. However I do follow hype and I think Randle is another tweener. Too small for a PF and big body for SF. Yea I know Blake griffin is 6’10” but the dude is athletic and has a freakish body. I want Randle to do well but gut feeling he won’t

  • comrade24

    These kind of articles are pointless. I bet if you poll the entire draft class that at least 80% of them would say Kobe was their favorite player growing up.

  • D’Antoni Delusional

    So what!

  • LA LA

    Lakers with Julius Randle would look like this.But get a real coach first.Fire MDA!Use the stretch provision on Nash waive his sorry ass.

    PG Steve Blake/Kendall Marshall/Jordan Farmar
    SG Kobe/Kent Bazemore
    SF Carmelo Anthony/Xavier Henry
    PF Julius Randle/Ryan Kelly
    C Spencer Hawes/Emeka Okafor/Robert Sacre

    • richard

      I like Hawes at center… but you are putting too much trust on an unproven rookie in Randle… I say, let Melo starts at PF, Kobe at SF and Bazemore at SG… bring in Randle off the bench to split remaining minutes with Kelly, while Melo plays SF

      C Hawes
      PF Melo
      SF Kobe
      SG Bazemore
      PG Blake

      • Baxter

        Why would Melo give up $30M to play for a 8th seed at best? Also Blake will probably resign with dubs. Meeks should be starting SG.

    • Baxter

      If u sign Melo u give your chance to get Love in 2015. Love is better for team overall and is younger. Okafor is breaking down & Hawes may not be cheap because Cavs want him. We need defense Hawes is not rim protector. Better option is to go for Monroe .

  • LA LA

    Julius Randle is a straight beast the next big thing.

  • Rigged4fun

    As long as D’Antoni is the coach, there’s no reason to draft a PF who’s not a stretch forward.

  • Chippaz

    Draft Julius Randle
    Sign Lance Stephenson
    Resign Gasol, Young, Hill, Farmar, Henry(Most to 1-year deals).

    Wait until next offseason to pursue Kyrie Irving

    Lance Stephenson/Young
    Kobe Bryant/Henry
    Julius Randle/ Kelly
    Pau Gasol/Hill

    Along with a new coach this team would make a great run if assembled next year. Stephenson is most likely gone because of chemistry and the Pacers lack of salary cap. If you ask me, I would say that Stephenson is the Pacers best player(he also leads NBA in triple doubles). Randle on the other hand, I can say without a doubt that he is going to dominate at the NBA level and become an All-Star in the near future. Kobe was both players favorite to watch while growing up and could be a great mentor to both.

  • Scott Asai

    Randle is a young version of Zach Randolph. There’s too much admiration for athletes in the NBA, but when your body ages, you’re only left with your skills. Randle is going to have a long career and I hope it’s in a Lakers uniform!

  • KB24

    IF WE CAN DRAFT A TOP 3 PICK(EMBIID,WIGGINS,PARKER—we have 0% chance at 4 and 5)KEEP IT,if it is 6 OR LOWER TRADE IT

  • Jack Tripper

    So Carmelo comes to Lakers as Phil Jackson isn’t going to pay him top dollar so moving to LA is a no brainer
    Trade Pick # 6 for Kevin Love
    Healthy Kobe
    They could run the triangle quadrangle d’antoni ball or whatever – they would be unstoppable…
    Ecstatic that Dwight howard is choking – shows how lucky we are as LAkers fans not to have that loser in our midst!

  • Amon

    They keep talking about draftees growing up as Kobe fans. No shit.
    Everyone in this draft grew up as a Kobe fan. Doesn’t mean they are going to LA.

    • Chrmngblly

      It lets everybody realize how old Kobe is getting…lol.

      One thing all these folks lobbying to sign Monroe/Ariza/Lowrey/Deng/Davis are not thinking about is that Mitch has already said he is not going to go sign any mediocre guys for big bucks. He will only sign All-Star caliber players only that can really make a difference. None of those guys fit that criteria.

      I say sign and trade Gasol to NY in a package with Nash for Tyson Chandler and some other player(s). Phil will really like Gasol if he wants to install the triangle and also bring down his payroll [via Nash’s expiring contract and Pau at $10M compared to Chandler at $14M] TC has 2 years left on his contract.

      Then we can draft whoever we can or trade for anybody who wants to. That gives us a center that is better than all those scrub FAs. Hopefully, we have Embiid or Vonleh or even Aaron Gordon still available to draft.

      Entering his last years, I think Kobe will be best off at the 3 where he doesn’t have to guard all the lighning-fast young guards around the league these days. So we don’t need Deng or Carmello or any help at the 3, with Young and Bazemore behind Kobe.

      Since Meeks is doing a good job at the 2, let’s bring him back. We need Swaggy back as our 6th man, too, don’t we? Bazemore belongs. Farmar and Marshall are adequate–maybe we can draft Exum.

      So we can do without all these other guys if they don’t make us that much better is how I think Mitch will look at the off season.