When Randle was fresh out of the University of Kentucky, Bryant emphasized the importance of getting shots up above all else when you arrive in a new NBA city. It did not matter how tired you may have been getting off the plane, it was all about putting in the work to get better. Randle took this to heart and has his Knicks teammates buying into this philosophy in his breakout season.
What makes this story even cooler is on a recent road trip to Detroit, Randle was able to find a gym that would be open super late so that he could put in the work. The school’s athletic director said the last NBA player who did this sort of thing was Bryant. Through the power of perseverance and being about the work above all else, Randle carries on Bryant’s legacy in a way he would love.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 13, 2021
Kobe Bryant’s legacy lives on through Julius Randle’s incredible work ethic
New York defeated visiting Los Angeles on Monday night to the tune of 111-96. The Knicks improved to 28-27 on the year, feeling very much like a playoff team in Tom Thibodeau’s first season in the Big Apple. Randle had a game-high 34 points with 10 rebounds and four assists in 39 minutes. For a team that is on the rise, Randle is quickly becoming a star in New York City.
For the first time in years, the Knicks are not a hopeless grease fire. The blue-collar mentality of this bunch fits in perfectly with the city’s tough identity. Knicks fans have been craving a team like this for the better part of two decades. Randle may have been cast off in Los Angeles and with the New Orleans Pelicans, but he is right at home embracing the Mamba Mentality with the Knicks.
In a year since Bryant’s tragic passing, his legacy lives on in ways that continue to inspire us all.