Rookie Randle's Broken Leg Devastates Lakers
October 30, 2014
By Mitch Chortkoff
He’s 19 years old, one of the most talented players the Lakers have and on the NBA season’s opening night Julius Randle broke his right leg.
The Lakers figured to have a difficult season. Now it looks more difficult.
Randle drove to the basket in the fourth quarter of a 108-90 loss to the Houston Rockets, his leg buckled and he grabbed it. Team doctors on the scene at Staples Center said Randle suffered a broken tibia and a six-month recovery would likely be required.
The 6-foot-7 forward played only one season at Kentucky but was the No. 7 pick in the draft, a tribute to his talent.
“It was tough for me being injured last season and it’s real tough for someone that young,” said Kobe Bryant. We have Laker veterans who’ll be there for him –myself, Magic Johnson, A.C. Green, James Worthy.”
Worthy sent a tweet saying he once had the same injury.
“This is heartbreaking,” said Coach Byron Scott. “Julius has worked hard, he’s been improving.”
Within days, the Lakers lost Steve Nash and Randle, arguably their second and third most-talented players behind Bryant.
For Laker fans it’s a major blow because Randle was being brought along to most likely join the starting lineup around January.
After playing only one of their 82 games the Lakers seem to have very little chance of making the playoffs for a second straight year.
Fans booed Dwight Howard, the center who left the Lakers after one season to sign with the Rockets.
Fans could have booed Jim Buss instead. The Lakers’ new owner gave Howard a coach he had difficulty playing for. Mike D’Antoni’s offensive philosophy was to feature the three-point shot and rarely begin plays with the center handling the ball.
The Lakers hired D’Antoni instead of Phil Jackson, who said he would have featured Howard and Pau Gasol in his offense.
Not only did Howard leave but Gasol, who became a free agent this season, left for Chicago.