Julius Randle, the newest New York Knicks star, started his NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers, carrying big expectations with him but never meeting what people expected from him. Now he’s blossomed into the star Lakers fans wanted him to become during his days at the Staples Center.
Even though he’s happy with his new team, where he’s become the real deal in the association, Randle has big memories from his time with the struggling Lakers. One of those involves the last game Kobe Bryant played as a pro. Randle was part of that squad and he learned a big lesson from Bryant that day when he tried to shoot a shot instead of giving the ball to the Black Mamba.
During a recent interview on JJ Redick’s podcast The Old Man and the Three, Randle revealed that the team planned to give the ball to Kobe as much as they could but when the shooting guard started to miss a couple of shots, he decided to help him out a little bit.
“He didn’t have to say it. We were talking between us as players: Yo, he’s taking every shot, like we knew that. We passing him the ball every time. It started off rough in… First 15 shots, he made 2. So we were worried. But man, he flipped that switch, bro, and it was like one of the few times all season I’ve seen the real “Black Mamba” come out.”
He inbounded it to me, and I was like, I’m shooting this time whatever. And he was like: Yo MF, you want everybody in this arena to boo you? Go ahead, but you better throw that damn ball!”
Kobe finished that game with 60 points, closing a magical career with a young, inexperienced Lakers team that witness all his greatness firsthand. The 5x NBA champion went off that night against the Utah Jazz, leaving a big mark on the game and even Randle, who confirmed how big Kobe was for the people in Los Angeles.