One of the biggest reasons the Los Angeles Lakers have made a turnaround over the last couple of months has been the outstanding play of Julius Randle. And if you ask LaVar Ball, he knew Randle was the best player on the team a long time ago.
Randle has been outstanding recently, averaging 20.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists over the last 10 games. Of course things started out rocky for Randle as he was coming off the bench and struggling for minutes on a lot of nights where Kyle Kuzma and Larry Nance Jr. would often play ahead of him.
In an interview with Delfi TV in Lithuania, LaVar claims that he told the Lakers in the beginning of the season that Randle was their best player and they needed to let him play free:
“Julius Randle, in the beginning, they were ready to trade him. I told them from the beginning, ‘He’s your best player on the team on the fact that he’s stronger and faster than everybody on the team.’ You’ve gotta let him loose. Just because he make a few mistakes don’t be like, ‘Hey, you gotta get out, you’ve got an attitude. I’ma bring you off the bench. Now he’s starting and doing wonders.”
As is the case with most claims made by the elder Ball, this should be taken with a grain of salt. It is, however, a nice change to see him praise anything on the Lakers other than his son, Lonzo, and if anyone deserves it, it is Randle.
Many believed Randle would be dealt at the trade deadline, but now he is looking more and more like a player the Lakers absolutely have to keep moving forward. There is no word yet on whether LaVar has predicted if Randle will remain with the Lakers beyond this year, but at some point he’ll make sure everyone knows his thoughts on everything.
For his part, Randle did say his hope was to remain with the Lakers as he has strong feelings for the organization.
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