Julius Randle is a young man who has the potential to be a quality starting player for the Los Angeles Lakers for the next 15 years.
But the former University of Kentucky standout won't be able to show any of that promise for the foreseeable future after suffering a brutal leg break in his very first game in the NBA.
The young forward fractured his tibia in his right leg with 6:46 left to go in the fourth quarter of the Lakers 102-75 opening day defeat to the Houston Rockets, while while driving to the hoop against Houston center Donatas Motiejunas.
The really odd thing about Randle's break is just how innocuous it was. He didn't collide with Motiejunas on his way to the net, he didn't run into the stanchion behind the basket like Paul George did, nor did he land badly like Kevin Ware, it just looked like Randle somehow kicked himself and it ended up snapping his leg in mid-air.
It really is the literal definition of a bad break. Randle's right leg was placed into an aircast before he headed to the hospital. You can see the moment his leg snaps here.
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Lakers head coach Byron Scott said he was devastated for the 19-year old after the game, noting how hard he and work in the pre-season.
"It is heartbreaking, because I saw him all summer," coach Scott said. "I saw the work that he was putting in. I saw the progression that he was making, the steps that he was taking to get better."
"And his first game, he goes down. I don't think anybody in that locker room is happy about the way we played, but we're even more saddened about the fact that we lost one of our young guys."
Randle now looks set to miss the whole season, and along with Steve Nash, the Lakers are already suffering with injury problems and look miles away from a side that could make the playoffs in the West.
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