Like many Lakers fans, I went into the draft with a fair amount of trepidation and anxiety. Would the Lakers trade the pick? Would Embiid fall to them and be the next Greg Oden? (For the record, I would have gambled on him anyway, but this was still a fear). These questions and others like them raced back and forth in my mind until the agonizing wait was finally over: the Lakers pick was in. And then:
The more I have heard and read about Julius Randle since binge Google searching him after his selection, the more I cannot help but fall in love with the guy. Here are some fun facts and interesting pieces of information on the newest Lakers lottery pick:
He is more athletic than you think
From Kevin Ding's post draft profile on Randle "[his] 35.5" vertical at the NBA Draft Combine was the same as what Blake Griffin posted there." While this does not necessarily mean that he will be devouring Kendrick Perkins's soul anytime soon ...
(Yes, I will use any excuse to play that video)
... he can still get up there more than his ground-bound, Zach Randolph comparisons would suggest. He even won the Elite 24 Dunk Contest in high school with a behind the back jam!
That's what I'm talking about big fella!
He wanted to be a Laker
Oh y'all didn't know I grew up a LAKER fan? http://t.co/Dsjx8zBknf— Julius Randle (@J30_RANDLE) June 27, 2014
Kobe gave him an approving nod
Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) June 27, 2014
He is already unafraid to speak his mind
I never do this but it was brought to me and it's crazy how people put stories out there and have no clue what they are talking about.— Julius Randle (@J30_RANDLE) June 12, 2014
No disrespect but check with the actual source next time before you put something like that out there @WojYahooNBA— Julius Randle (@J30_RANDLE) June 12, 2014
But he has a softer side as well
"That group included Annie Page, grandmother of Julius Randle, the Wildcats' star forward. Page lives a five-hour drive away, in Newton, Texas, and in Randle's early years, she visited often. 'That boy just wore me out,' she says. All Randle ever wanted to do was play basketball, and he would wake up early in the morning, knock on his grandmother's door and summon her outside. 'Granny! Time to play!' he would say, and she would be out there, minutes later, on the court.'