Kobe Bryant: Julius Randle is ‘Lamar Odom in a Zach Randolph body’

What do you get when you combine a transcendent basketball IQ with a person who's the size of a bear? According to Kobe Bryant, the answer is one of his teammates.
Jack Arent/NBAE via Getty Images

We've seen the second-fiddle version of Kobe Bryant when he was winning titles with Shaquille O'Neal and Phil Jackson. We've seen the cold-blooded, laser-focused version of Bryant when he was the unquestioned alpha dog on the Los Angeles Lakers. And we've heard stories of Bryant making teammates cry. But in 2015-16, we're seeing a whole new version of the future Hall of Famer — and it's his nurturing side.

Bryant has reportedly been working with the Lakers' young guys, teaching them the ins and outs of the NBA on and off the court. And he seems to have taken a special liking to second-year forward Julius Randle, as evidenced by Bryant's post-game quotes after the Lakers' preseason game against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday. Bryant went so far as to compare Randle to Lamar Odom in the body of Zach Randolph:

It's been lost in the sad way his career ended, but Odom had one of the highest basketball IQs of any player to step on the floor in recent NBA history. As Bryant says, having that kind of vision and playmaking ability in the body of someone the size of Randle is a rare occurrence, indeed.

MORE NEWS: Want stories delivered to you? Sign up for our NBA newsletters.