Los Angeles Lakers rookie big man Julius Randle had his best performance in Purple and Gold thus far Wednesday night, coming off the bench for a team-leading 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting and eight rebounds.

Having dazzled Laker fans with his floor game in the team’s 94-86 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, Randle reminded everyone that his childhood dream (despite his size) was to play like a certain superstar teammate.

Kobe Bryant and Lakers head coach Byron Scott are more than happy to keep the pressure on the rook, in order for him to reach his potential.

Per the LA Daily News:

“People used to tell me I’m going to be the next Shaq,” said Randle, the 6-9, 250 pound forward growing in height and strength at an early age. “I said, ‘I don’t want to be the next Shaq. I want to be the next Kobe.’ I always dribbled the ball everywhere I went.”

 

So will Randle eventually showcase a patented fadeaway jumper that Bryant has perfected? […] “I don’t know,” Randle said, laughing. “I guess. You’ll see.”

 

But as Randle dazzled the Lakers and their fans as he marched up and down the floor, it only validated Scott’s recent conversation he and Bryant recently had with Randle. […] “I told him, ‘As long as I’m standing on you or [Kobe’s] standing on you, it means that we care about you and love you and want you to do well,” Scott said. “When I stop talking to you, that’s when you should be worried.”