Randle Readies for Final Week, Offseason

After playing a total of 14 minutes last year, Julius Randle has added value to the lessons learned in his first full season.

The 21-year-old ranks 10th in the NBA in rebounds (10.2) and 14th in 34 double-doubles, but he is more focused on the growth he has made.

“I definitely learned a lot, but there’s no greater teacher than experience,” Randle said during his Lakers Voices session on Monday.

With Randle’s childhood hero, Kobe Bryant, retiring in only six games, he and his fellow young Lakers — specifically D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson — are hoping to provide a turnaround for this franchise, which will miss the playoffs for the third straight year.

“We know there are steps we have to take to get better individually and collectively,” Randle said. “I think we’re doing the necessary things to get there. From the beginning of the season to now, I feel like we’ve made a lot of progress.”

For Randle, more progress means immediately getting back to work when the season ends.

“I know when the season ends you’re supposed to take some time (off) to let your body heal, but I’m kind of feeling like I’m ready to get back to it and get to work,” Randle said. “I guess that’s kind of the perk of being 21.”

But before it reaches this point, Randle and co. will say goodbye to the man who has led the Lakers for the past two decades.

“I was a huge, huge, huge fan of (Bryant),” Randle said. “He was the guy that I looked up to. Just from his mentality standpoint and how he played the game with such tenacity. You could tell he was head (and shoulders) over guys from a skills standpoint.”