Julius Randle emerged as one of the top stars in the NBA this past season, leading the New York Knicks to a playoff appearance and being named the league's Most Improved Player. But before Randle was doing big things with the Knicks, the 26-year-old was learning from the late Kobe Bryant when he was with the Los Angeles Lakers. PopCulture.com recently caught with Randle who detailed the advice Bryant gave to him in the early stages of his NBA career.
"Kobe had plenty of gems," Randle told PopCulture. "He was the greatest in my eyes. So there was a lot of advice that he gave. A lot of advice that in experiences that things I've been through, I wish I can call him and ask now, but there's a lot of things. One of the things I'd probably say I would share is just being in love and falling in love with the process. A lot of people see the end result.
"They see Giannis [Antetokounmpo], sit down on a chair, take a deep breath and tears or whatever it is and of joy and excitement winning the championship. That's just my most recent memory. And people don't understand the process that goes into that. And you truly have to love the process and love the game and dedicate and sacrifice and commit yourself to it, to get to that point. A lot of people don't understand that process, but for me, I just enjoy the process. I love the process of pushing myself, being uncomfortable and pushing myself to get better, to be the best player I can be to ultimately help the team be the best possible team that we can be."
Randle was with the Lakers from 2014-2018 and played with Bryant in his first two seasons in the NBA. In his rookie season, Randle played in one game before breaking his right tibia and missing the entire season. He returned in Bryant's final season and averaged 11.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. The advice Randle received from Bryant having a career year in his second season with the Knicks, posting 24.1 points 10.2 rebounds and six assists per contest. And like Bryant, Randle wants to be a champion, and he revealed how the Knicks can reach that goal.
"We have set values and things that we're saying that every night, whether it's practice, whether it's games that we have to do to continue to improve, to continue to give ourselves the best chance possible to win," Randle stated. "Those things are non-negotiable. We have to do those things every night, we feel like to give ourselves the best chance to win. I think that's what's great about our team, we don't have an ego. Everybody wants to come in and give their stuff up for the team and do what it takes to win games."