THE respect was there, but young Julius Randle admitted hardly intimidated by the presence, let alone the antics, of veteran superstar Kevin Garnett.
The Los Angeles sophomore forward held his own and didn’t back down against Garnett in a 112-111 loss by the Lakers to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“I’m not scared of anybody,” said Randle in an interview by the Los Angeles Daily News’ Mark Medina. “The main thing is we know that’s his thing. That’s what he does, try to get in people’s heads. I’ve been watching him my whole life so I knew what to expect.”
The two big men were involved in a couple of physical plays during the game, one which saw Garnett getting a technical foul following a heated exchange of words.
Randle, selected seventh overall by the Lakers in the 2014 draft, got the better of the personal match-up though, registering 15 points and 11 rebounds. Garnett, in his second tour of duty with the Timberwolves, ended up with four points and seven rebounds.
The second-year forward likewise earned the respect of superstar teammate Kobe Bryant for standing up against a veteran like Garnett, known as one of the premier trash-talkers in the NBA.
“Kobe called Randle a “grown-ass man” after he stood up to Kevin Garnett last night,” Medina tweeted on his account@MarkG_Medina.
Not lost too, in the Randle-Garnett match-up is the wide age-gap between the two.
“Kevin Garnett will spend some time defending Julius Randle tonight. When KG entered the NBA in 1995, Randle was a one-year-old baby,” tweeted Mike Trudell of Lakers.com on his account@Mike Trudell.