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Julius Randle gets some sage advice from Rajon Rondo: ‘Just enjoy the process’

06.13.14 at 2:56 pm ET
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WALTHAM — After one year at Kentucky, forward Julius Randle feels he’s ready to take on the NBA.

Friday, following a pre-draft workout for the Celtics, the 19-year-old showed just how ready he is by answering a non-stop stream of questions from reporters about the state of his right foot, which had a pin placed in it in his senior year of high school to help heal a break.

There were reports Thursday that some NBA general managers believe the foot did not heal properly and that it could be an issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

“My foot is fine,” Randle said. “Everybody has their opinion on what [I] should do but I’m pain-free. There’s no pain before, during or after. I’m fine.”

Randle said surgery has not been considered to this point.

“It’s never been considered,” he said. “I’ve met with my own doctor and talked to specialists, some of the best doctors in the world and they said they wouldn’t do anything with it. [I] broke it back in high school. I have a pin in it. I guess some people may think they want to put a different one in. I don’t know. I have no clue. It’s the draft and they want to know about it.

Where did he get the advice on how to handle the barrage of questions that he knew would be coming? Another Kentucky product — Rajon Rondo – spoke with him before his workout and gave him some advice.

“I talked to him a little bit today and yesterday,” Randle said. “We kind of have that Kentucky connection. Rondo is a great guy. I have nothing bad to say about him. He’s a great guy, competitor. I’d love to play with him.

“Just be myself, just enjoy the process. A 19-year-old kid going through this can be a lot. Just really enjoy the process, have fun with it, and don’t let outside distractions take away from your joy of the process. That’s what I’ve been trying to do, that’s what my family has told me to do and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”

The media hype Friday over a pre-draft workout in Boston gave him a little taste of what to expect in the NBA, especially if he’s selected by the Celtics.

“It’s a little bit of the same. Kentucky prepares you a lot for things like these,” he said of playing for John Calipari for just one season. “At Kentucky, this is all they know, Kentucky basketball. So, it really prepared me from an expectation level. The fans of Boston, city of Boston has great expectations for their team. This is a winning organization, a championship organization. Kentucky is the same way. Our season is a lot shorter, they don’t expect to win maybe two games at the most.”

Here is the rest of his Q and A with reporters on Friday in Waltham:

How was the workout?

“It went well, a really good workout. I enjoyed my time here, for sure.”

What did you want to show?

“Just that if I come here, I’m going to give my all, compete and do the best I can, especially with these guys. They know what you can do, they know the type of player you can be. I just try to be myself. I think off the court, seeing what kind of person you are, character you have is the most important thing because they’ve done their job all year scouting the type of player you are.”

Why did you work out by yourself?

“Less risk of injury. There’s no me being afraid of competing. I think guys know competing is what I do. There’s less risk of injury and lot of teams want me to work out by myself anyway.”

Why did you take to Twitter Thursday and dispute the reports (initially from Adrian Wojnarowski) about your right foot?

“I felt the need to defend myself. I don’t usually have to do stuff like that but when I feel like people are saying stuff and I know it’s not true and the story is mixed up a little bit. I’m not calling him a liar or anything like that. He’s great at what he does but I felt like there was a little confusion, a little unnecessary confusion. I felt there was a need for me to speak on my behalf. I probably wouldn’t be working out if I needed surgery.”

How does he feel about his mother defending him?

“It’s very important. My mom is my biggest supporter. She’s been there since Day 1. She’s always going to have my back. I’m sure you guys have kids. Someone says something about your kids you’re going to want to kill the person. So, that’s how my mom is. She takes it to the extreme for sure but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

How will your foot be long term?

“It won’t be an issue, whether a team says they want me to have surgery or not, it’s a minor injury in the first place that I suffered in high school. The longest you’re out is 12 weeks so I’ll probably miss Summer League. Nobody said they want me to have surgery that I’ve talked to.”

On his ceiling:

“I have nothing to say. I go out there and let my game do the talking. There’s no point in saying anything. At the end of the day, you have to go out there and put your shoes on the same way, your jersey, your shorts on the same way and you have to produce. Projection, potential and all that stuff. all I know is to go out there work hard and produce.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Julius Randle, Kentucky Wildcats, NBA
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