Julius Randle made his first rookie mistake in a hurry.
After saying he was "blessed and fortunate" that the Lakers took him with the seventh overall pick in the NBA draft Thursday, Randle added that he was eager to learn from Kobe Bryant.
"He may get tired of me because I'm just going to be bugging him learning," said Randle, who led Kentucky to the NCAA championship game this past spring.
Then Randle headed for trouble. When asked about how Kentucky prepared him for Los Angeles, Randle burst with Lexington pride. But his excitement may have alienated some Showtime faithful.
"Kentucky's basketball is the only thing Kentucky knows," Randle said. "We have horse racing and stuff, but they care about basketball. When you have a place that sells out 24,000 a game, name another place that does that. L.A., what do they care about? They don't have a football team. They have hockey, the Kings, or whatever."
Whatever? The interview room started buzzing. Media members chuckled, while a few gasped. Randle's comment was not exactly timely, considering the Kings are just a couple weeks removed from a Stanley Cup championship.
Randle quickly treaded water, or should we say, balanced himself on thin ice.
"They won a championship," he said. "The Lakers -- when you think of L.A., you think the Lakers. That is no disrespect to the hockey team. You just won a Stanley Cup. That's pretty ridiculous. That's pretty ridiculous. A Stanley Cup is ridiculous. So congrats to them."
No one is denying the Lakers are the city's premier franchise, but with two championships in three seasons, the Kings are no joke. Randle is going to have to face old (and new) Kings fans when he arrives in L.A. It will be interesting to see how warm Will Ferrell's first embrace is with Randle.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.
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