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‘Kobe Bryant took me straight to the gym from the plane ride’: All-Star Julius Randle reveals how the Lakers legend impacted his career forever

Advait Jajodia
|Sun Mar 07 2021


Julius Randle narrated a story on how the work ethic of Kobe Bryant helped mould him into the All-Star he is today.

Kobe has impacted several players in the league today. Julius Randle was lucky enough to be the Black Mamba’s teammate back in 2014. Randle often mentions the positive impact Kobe had in his career whether it was on the court or off the court.

The first-time All-Star wrote an inspirational story in which the Black Mamba changed Randle’s career. Back when he was 20-years-old, Randle played his first NBA game in his second season at Dallas. Julius was all prepared to go meet friends and family the night before playing Dallas. But, Kobe being Kobe had other plans for the young 20-year-old. Julius narrated:

“We get off the plane, we ride to the hotel, and — ha. Wow. I will never forget this. We’re coming up on the hotel in Dallas, and Kobe turns to me and he goes, ‘Julius, what you bout to do.'”

“I’m like, ‘I’m about to see my family, chill with some friends, you know. Have a night.’ And Kobe, he just cuts me off. He’s like, ‘Nah. We’re going to the gym’.”

Also Read: “We will not change the NBA logo to Kobe Bryant”: Adam Silver says there are no ongoing discussions about altering the NBA logo to Lakers legend

Julius Randle loves following Black Mamba’s footsteps

It’s not every day that a rookie gets to learn from the games of the best. Luckily for Julius Randle, he tried to grasp as much information as he could from the Hall-Of-Famer. The New York Knicks forward stated however since that night with Bryant, he has made his routine ‘get off the plane, head to the gym’. Randle added:

“It’s been my routine ever since that night in Dallas. Get off the plane, head to the gym. Get off the plane, head to the gym. Get off the plane, head to the gym. Like clockwork.”

“On this particular trip, in Detroit, they had this little high school gym opened up for me. And I get to the building, and the guy who was there to let me in, I think he’s the athletic director of that school, we start talking a little bit.”

“And he’s like, “It’s good to see you. Guys don’t really show up here to work out anymore. Matter of fact, the last guy to come in this late to shoot — man, that must have been years ago. It was Kobe.’ I mean, just hearing him say the name.. it gave me chills.”

Also Read: ‘Kobe Bryant was playing harder than ever’: Former star Matt Barnes reveals the time when the Black Mamba crushed teenagers in a pickup game

The 26-year-old Julius Randle has obviously made the Black Mamba proud. Being in his 7th season, Randle has been given the first all-star bid of his career. What’s more impressive this season is that Randle has been leading the New York Knicks team to a 19-18 record to place 5th in a highly competitive Eastern Conference. Clearly, the impact Kobe has on today’s players continues to live on no matter what.


About the author
Advait Jajodia

Advait Jajodia

Being a two-time national-level basketball player, NBA surely had my attention from a very young age. At age 20 now, I aspire to share the knowledge I gained over 11 years with fellow basketball-lovers through my articles!

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