With an aging Kobe Bryant, an ever-delusional Nick Young and (insert adjective of choice) Metta World Peace, the Lakers don’t lack for players with a misplaced sense of bravado. Now it appears that we can add another Laker to that list: Julius Randle.
The second-year forward — who missed almost his entire rookie season after breaking a leg in his first-ever NBA game — seems to think that Warriors forward Draymond Green can’t guard him. We know this because during Saturday’s Los Angeles-Golden State preseason game, Randle beat Green off the dribble, then walked around saying, “He can’t guard me, he can’t guard me.”
Sure, that makes sense. After all, Randle, 20, was a one-and-done, star player at Kentucky before the Lakers made him the seventh overall pick in last year’s draft. Compare that to the 25-year-old Green, who stayed all four years at Michigan State and then lasted five picks into the second round in the 2012 draft.
On the other hand, Green has become the do-everything linchpin of a championship Warriors squad, and a 2014 NBA first-team all-defensive selection. So Randle might want to ease off the smack talk before playing more than, say, one single game in his pro career.
Then again, by all means, Julius, please loudly proclaim yourself unstoppable as often as possible. The Lakers don’t figure to be very good this year, so they may as well entertain us in other ways.
Randle will surely be emboldened by the fact that he scored 14 points, second-most for L.A., as the Lakers beat the defending champions Saturday, 85-70 … in a game played in San Diego that meant nothing at all.