If you’re the Black Mamba’s teammate, you’ve got to be prepared to be pushed to the limit on a daily basis – just ask Lakers rookie Julius Randle.
At the Lakers’ practice session on Saturday morning, which was televised live by NBA TV, Kobe Bryant got on Randle for “hiding in certain lines” during a conditioning drill, according to Rick Fox. Bryant apparently chided the rookie when the show went to a commercial break.
“You can’t hide in certain corners,” Reggie Miller said. “You want your young best players to get out here and to get some of this early conditioning.”
For Randle, this type of conditioning work is something the 19-year-old has never faced before, and it’s also clearly needed seeing as the big man was visibly tired a number of times throughout the practice session.
Instead of letting Randle wander between lines and catch a breather for a few minutes, Bryant made sure the Kentucky product got out there on the floor and continued to push himself to the limit.
The Black Mamba would later explain why he pushed Randle so hard, saying the rookie had the potential to “be something special.”
Aside from his impressive resume, Bryant also has the license to push players in this way seeing as he leads by example.
Throughout the practice session, the 36-year-old was putting forth maximum effort and was pushing his body to the limit at all times. When one of the greatest players to ever pick up a basketball is putting in that kind of work during his 19th year, there’s no reason why players nearly half his age can’t do the same.
This kind of motivation will only help Randle get better in the long run. It’s just a little tough love, that’s all.