The Los Angeles Lakers are going through a rebuilding process and have to figure out how to win in the post-Kobe Bryant era. The team has drafted well in recent years and they are stockpiling young players to make the transition as smooth as possible.
D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle are being trusted in bringing the Lakers back to their former glory. The three young stars have showed great promise early in their careers, and the franchise is hoping they only get better as times goes.
Bryant is being celebrated during his farewell tour, but another priority of his is mentoring the young players. Bryant has immense knowledge of the game and he is doing his part in preparing them to carry the franchise. Kobe spoke to the media following the team’s 117-107 loss the Nuggets and commentated on the recent play of Russell, Randle and Clarkson, via Shahan Ahmed of NBC Los Angeles:
Kobe talking about the three young kids (D'Angelo, Clarkson, Randle): "They're looking pretty damn good right now"
— Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) March 3, 2016
All three players have seen inconsistent playing time this season and in particular, Randle and Russell. Both of them have been coming off the bench for head coach Byron Scott and only recently have they been given the starting lineup nod. With this increase in playing time, Russell has showcased to the world what he is capable of and Randle has been putting up double-doubles on a nightly basis.
In each of the past four games, Russell has put up over 20 points and his command on the floor has been very impressive. Russell has also shot the ball very well from three, highlighted by his 39-point performance against the Brooklyn Nets.
As for Randle, the second-year forward from Kentucky is averaging 12.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game when in the starting lineup.