Kobe Bryant and Byron Scott will both be critical for Julius Randle as he adjusts to being an NBA player, and both have privately told the seventh-overall pick he has a great opportunity in front of him with the Los Angeles Lakers and veteran mentors surrounding him.
Kobe elaborated on that conversation following the Lakers' win over the Utah Jazz, revealing he told Randle he would be a "really big idiot" if he managed to "f*** this up."
More Kobe on Randle:"If you F this up, you're a really big idiot. ESPN are idiots, but you're really a big idiot if you manage to F this up"— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) October 20, 2014
Randle delivered Sunday night against the Jazz, playing the entire fourth quarter while scoring all eight of his points in that period. He was hitting his mid-range jumpshots, took advantage of a mismatched Steve Novak while driving to the rim, and sunk a pair of free-throws.
Scott and Bryant will definitely stay on top of Randle, which could ultimately be a good thing if he's able to absorb the tough love and turn it into motivation and a learning experience. Randle has taken it all in stride thus far, which has been a good sign for the Lakers.
Hopefully Randle can continue proving to Scott he can play with the level of effort demanded of him while earning his way onto the court for more in-game development.
Here's Serena Winters with the post-game interview from Kobe and Randle: