Los Angeles Lakers Must Find Opportunity Despite Julius Randle’s Injury

If the Los Angeles Lakers search long enough, if they try hard enough, they will unearth opportunity and value in Julius Randle's soul-splitting absence.

In the aftermath of most NBA injuries there exists a silver lining, its shimmer often faint, its presence nevertheless crucial to acceptance, survival and, most importantly, recovery. The Lakers, despite initial shock, have more than one bright side to occupy.

All they need do is find them.


Long-Term Hope

Not even a full regular-season contest into his NBA career, the 19-year-old Randle—the top-seven pick who is arguably the most important Lakers rookie since Kobe Bryant—fell victim to misfortune that many players, no matter how long they play, won't ever experience.

Facing up against the Houston Rockets' Donatas Motiejunas midway through the fourth quarter of Los Angeles' season-opening loss, Randle showed left, went right and attacked the basket, where he was also met by Tarik Black. He rose up off his right leg, then came crashing to the floor, where he laid, writhing in pain.

Before even leaving the court on a stretcher, CNN's Rachel Nichols reported on-air he had broken his right leg. Not 24 hours later, he underwent surgery, his prognosis both bleak and bright, per the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahn:

"It's heartbreaking," head coach Byron Scott said of Randle's injury, per Los Angeles' official Twitter account.

Indeed, this is a devastating detour Randle and the Lakers must journey through. Watching him squirm in pain was like seeing the team's future go up in flames. He's supposed to be its foundation for the future, one of the players capable of ushering Los Angeles into the post-Bryant era.

Here's the first silver lining: Randle's injury doesn't change that—any of it.

This is a delay in the process, a bump ...

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