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June 26, 2014

Julius Randle


THE MODERATOR:  Julius, if you'd just start opening statements about being drafted by the Lakers, please.
JULIUS RANDLE:  Yeah, I couldn't be more blessed and fortunate to go to an organization like Los Angeles.  To be able to learn from those guys.  They've had so much history and so much success in the past, and to be able to go to an organization like that, who's had amazing players in the past and learn from a guy like Kobe‑‑ I mean, I couldn't be more happy.  This is truly a blessing for me.

Q.  You mentioned Kobe, what's it going to be like now being able to learn from him and compete alongside of him?
JULIUS RANDLE:  I'm going to learn a lot.  He may get tired of me because I'm going to be bugging him learning, trying to learn stuff from him.  So I'm going to learn a lot from him.
But I think it's more than him.  He was blessed to be in an organization like the Lakers as well.  Talent alone, his work ethic alone got him there, but I think the Lakers was the right fit, the right organization for me to go to.

Q.  Kobe Bryant is known to kind of demand a lot from his teammates.

Q.  Are you ready for that kind of commitment, and what are you going to bring to the Lakers?  They have a lot of empty spots.
JULIUS RANDLE:  I demand a lot from my teammates as well, holding each other accountable, putting extra work in was what I had to do at Kentucky.  It was what I demanded of my teammates, and that's what we did, and that's why we were successful.
I think I bring a lot to the Lakers as far as a skill set being able to shoot the ball, handle the ball, of course my post‑game.  But I think I bring a lot to L.A. for sure.

Q.  Talk more about your post game and how that can be an advantage with the lack of post play going on in the league right now?
JULIUS RANDLE:  I think it can be a huge advantage.  A lot of the league is going to small ball, but the good thing about me, I'm interchangeable.  I can play small ball because I can guard multiple positions because I really can move.
But you know, I think it's going to be an advantage for me to be able to take a smaller guy inside but also take a bigger guy on the outside.

Q.  It's certainly an honor to be drafted by any of these franchises, being in Los Angeles with the endorsements it brings, did that cross your mind?  Is that something your agent spoke about, even informally?  It seems like you're natural for that market.
JULIUS RANDLE:  It may be a national market.  I'm not worried about endorsements though.  Lakers, that's about championships.  That's what I want to bring.
I'm nothing other than a winner.  I think that's my biggest attribute and my biggest quality I can bring to a team.  The endorsements and all that stuff will come with it.

Q.  We'll get there.
JULIUS RANDLE:  I'm not worried about it.

Q.  There was sort of an eruption there with you and your family at the table.  What was that moment like?  I know you have been waiting a long time.
JULIUS RANDLE:  We're just ecstatic.  All the hard work that's been put in, and for this to finally happen, what can I really say?
I'm blessed to be in an organization like this.  Really just speechless, honestly.

Q.  What did she say to you?
JULIUS RANDLE:  She was just happy.  She couldn't really say anything.  She was just screaming.

Q.  There was a report that came out about your foot and that it might have required surgery.  Obviously, turned out not to be true.  You refuted it from the very start.  How is it a balance, though, if you would have been drafted higher, you go to a worse team, but you get drafted lower and you end up with an organization like the Lakers.  Sort of what's the balance there?
JULIUS RANDLE:  I mean, it's sort of a balance, I guess.  I really wasn't worried about it.  Whatever organization or team I went to, I would be blessed to go to.  That's where God wanted me to be.  But happily, it's in L.A.

Q.  Are you fully healthy now?  Do you expect to be able to play in Summer League for the Lakers?
JULIUS RANDLE:  I expect to, but different doctors have different opinions.  So you really never know.  But as far as the start of the season, that's what I'm worried about.  I mean, I'll be there.

Q.  Julius, you're obviously working toward this since getting to Kentucky.  How do you think it prepared you for this?
JULIUS RANDLE:  It prepared me for a lot.  Kentucky's basketball is the only thing Kentucky knows.  We have horse racing and stuff, but they care about basketball.
When you have a place that sells out 24,000 a game, name another place that does that.  L.A., what do they care about?  They don't have a football team.  They have hockey, the Kings, or whatever, but L.A., they won a championship.  The Lakers‑‑ when you think of L.A., you think of the Lakers.  That is no disrespect to the hockey team.  You just won a Stanley Cup.  That's pretty ridiculous.  That's pretty ridiculous.  A Stanley Cup is ridiculous.  So congrats to them.
But the city of L.A., you got Magic, all those guys, Kobe, that's what you think of.  You think of the Lakers, and that's what I'm really excited to go to.

Q.  Julius, congratulations.  You were in this building 14 months ago playing in the Jordan Brand Classic.  Compare and contrast your feelings being a high school student playing here and now being selected for the NBA Draft.
JULIUS RANDLE:  It's an amazing feeling.  I also had a game here in Barclays when I played versus Providence.  So it's a totally different feeling, three different events, and luckily each time it's been a really good time here.
This draft has been really good for me as well.
Thank you.

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