Can Julius Randle Be LA Lakers’ Next Star?

Los Angeles Lakers fans are hoping Julius Randle ends up rescuing the franchise from a bout with mediocrity.

Perhaps he has what it takes, but the jury is still out. The Lakers saw enough of him during his freshman season at Kentucky to select him with the seventh pick in the 2014 NBA draft, but I’m just a wee bit skeptical.

His rookie year won’t sway me much because it a takes time for first-year players to adjust to the professional game. Randle had a strength advantage on most nights in college because of his 6'9", 250-pound frame, but the NBA will offer a different challenge.

Randle plays power forward, and that won’t be the same dance as the one he faced in the NCAA. The opposition offers a different set of physical challenges, and he'll already be at a disadvantage from an experience standpoint.

In addition, Randle will have to battle Western Conference big men such as LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Dirk Nowitzki, Zach Randolph, Anthony Davis and, potentially, Kevin Love, among many others.

Randle will have it tough, but his attitude, coupled with tutelage from a legend, will help him ascend.


The Kobe Bryant Factor

Kobe Bryant and Randle might be kindred spirits. Randle plays with an edge and swagger that screams he can’t be stopped.

Heck, he’s more than happy to do the talking himself. When prompted to discuss whether he’d like to play against or with LeBron James by GQ’s Mark Anthony Green, Randle responded:

I'd rather play against LeBron. I just have an older mentality. I want to beat the best. Maybe in the future I'd want to play with him. I've been watching him my whole life. I'd rather compete against him and try and beat him than be on his team.

Randle’s bravado is a throwback to an older generation, one where players looked to take out ...

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