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The Lakers Summer League team hasn’t done well. They’re 1-3 thus far and lost to the Sixers SL team, 83-61, on Wednesday night. But we’re there to see how the Laker draft picks are performing.

Julius Randle has done pretty well thus far. Randle is averaging 12 points and four rebounds in three games he has played thus far. He has shown some flashes as an excellent player and has shown some versatility.

Randle was asked about him leading the break.

“It’s a part of my versatility. There are certain times you can do it. You just gotta read the defense and have a good feel for the game.”

Julius was asked about the transition to the NBA.

“I think it gets a lot easier, honestly. There’s more of a flow (in Summer League).”

When asked further about it…

“The spacing is way more because you just can’t collapse. Because if you do, somebody’s going to be wide open. What I’m seeing a lot is they’re either not collapsing, I got an open lane and they can’t guard me one-on-one or they’re collapsing and someone’s wide open and the passes are way easier. The spacing is the biggest difference from college to NBA.”

Julius was asked about his tendencies on the court.

“I like facing up first. A lot of times, guys are bigger, slower than me… not as athletic as me and I can use my athleticism and my skill set. So I like facing up whether it’s on the elbow, top of the key, block extended… that’s what I like doing. But I like grinding and being physical as well.”

He was then asked about his options when facing up.

“Honestly, it’s how the defense is playing me. If the guy wants to be physical, I’ll face him up. If it’s a smaller guy, I’m gonna take him to the post. The biggest difference from my first game and what I’m seeing now is I’m being more patient. I’m reading how the defenses are guarding me. From there, I’m able to operate and be more efficient.”

A lot of people have compared Randle’s game to Memphis power forward Zach Randolph. Randle seemed genuinely stunned and humbled by that comparison. I asked who he patterned his game after.

“Nobody. That’s very humbling, though. (Randolph) is a great player but I never compared or patterned my game after anybody.”

Randle was asked about how his experience with the Lakers fans in Summer League.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s kind of like Vegas is L.A. almost. So many people around everywhere I go whether it’s a cab or a restaurant, there’s Lakers fan and they know who you are. Obviously, you have the most fans here for the games. It’s kind of fun and ridiculous at the same time.

When asked if he was mentally prepared for the fans…

“I didn’t know it was going to be like this. Thought it was going to be JUST Summer League. I didn’t know that there were that many Laker fans out here in Vegas.”

Finally, he was asked about being drafted by the Lakers.

I know it’s the best possible place for me. I didn’t want to be anywhere else so I’m very happy that I was able to be chosen by the Lakers.”

And a lot of Laker fans are very happy that they got him with the 7th overall pick.

Chris Douglas-Roberts, as you remember, is trying to return to the NBA and he’s back with the Lakers Summer League team. The former New Jersey Net was a late cut by the Lakers before last year’s regular season started.

Douglas-Roberts assessed his performance this summer so far.

“I had a slow start. Unfortunately, I kinda sprained my ankle in the first game. In the second game, I was still feelin’ it; it was still sore. I had a great day off and we had great treatment. I felt good out there. Even though I had a slow start last game, we still won and that’s what’s important.”

He was then asked about playing with a collection of guys that he may never play with again after the Summer League is over.

“This is basketball. No matter if you’re a superstar or you’re trying to get on the team, it’s one language. It’s a basketball language that everybody understands. We have guys from everywhere and everybody is hungry, everybody is playin’ hard. I’m like the veteran to this group… you know I’m just tryin’ to do my part. If I see guys kind of down, that’s natural as a basketball player, just kind of pick ‘em up a little bit.”

CDR was asked about his role being a playmaker on the Summer League squad.

“A lot of people don’t understand. In Summer League, people expect big numbers. You have to play everybody and the game is much slower; the game is 10 minutes (per quarter). You’re not going to get guys getting 30 so I kinda had to switch my game a little bit and play some point forward.”

He finished with 12 points and four assists in the game against the Clippers yesterday.

He was asked about trying any new moves or working on weaknesses on his game while here in Las Vegas.

“First and foremost, you wanna play well. I wouldn’t go out there and try to work on things you aren’t comfortable doing. You wanna go out there and play well; you have to play to your strengths. You’re trying to earn a spot.”

I asked if he still talked to one Kobe Bryant. Douglas-Roberts dropped a little news.

“I talked to Kobe when I was in L.A. Kobe is great to me. He’s a great mentor. He told me he’s three months ahead of schedule, which is very Kobe-like. The biggest thing I get from Kobe is honesty and I really respect that. And he respects that from me.”

Three months ahead of schedule? In any case, it’s been heard before that he is ahead of schedule. Still, we have to take that with a grain of salt and continue to monitor Kobe’s progress. But if anyone can return three months ahead of schedule or play on a broken everything, it’s Kobe Bryant.

Finally, I asked CDR about the sleeved jerseys. Douglas-Roberts noticeably had his sleeves cut during the game.

“I hate those jerseys. I had to cut it because it was so tight around my shoulders. I couldn’t make a shot. They’re so tight.”

And he said it one more time with feeling.

“I hate those jerseys!”

Good luck to Chris Douglas-Roberts. Here’s hoping he gets a training camp invite.

I was able to steal a few minutes of former Laker player (now Laker assistant coach and still fan favorite) Mark Madsen about his duties of his new gig.

FORUM BLUE & GOLD: Did you always want to coach?

MARK MADSEN: Coaching is something I’ve always had on the back of my mind that I’ve always wanted to do. I read John Wooden’s book, They Call Me Coach, and I loved it. I loved the book and I loved the message. I feel very fortunate to coach with the Lakers this year.

FB&G: What will your responsibilities be as an assistant coach?

MM: I’m an assistant coach and also a player development coach. I’m really doing both responsibilities in terms of helping players develop on the court and also getting involved with X’s and O’s, scouting, and practices.

FB&G: What about the D-Fenders? You were named coach for them, too!

MM: Well, I was named head coach but within a little while, there was a spot that opened up on the Laker staff and they approached me. From within the organization, obviously with the Lakers owning the D-Fenders, they said, “Hey, we’d like you to consider this vertical move.” And I said, “Yeah, I would love to.”

FB&G: How do you like the moves of the Lakers so far? You guys got Chris Kaman and Nick Young (no question with Wesley Johnson since interview was conducted before the Lakers acquired Johnson).

MM: Two phenomenal pick-ups. I know that there are still some irons in the fire, free agency-wise. But I think Nick Young and Chris Kaman are two great pick-ups that have skills that can help us win this year.

FB&G: As far as your playing career went, everybody remembers you as a Laker but what are your memories playing for the Timberwolves?

MM: I had some great memories with Minnesota. Made some great friendships and I feel so fortunate that I had a chance to go up there.

FB&G: Last question, Robert Sacre told me that he’d beat you in a dance contest. What do you think about that?

MM: IF, even IF Robert would beat me in a dance contest, it’s because he’s part of a new generation. They have a little more fluidity in their dance movements. So it’s just a new generation coming up.

We’d like to thank the ever-so-awesome Mark Madsen for a few minutes of his time.

After the Lakers’ summer league game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, we managed to get Robert Sacre to talk to us about how his rookie year was, what he’s working on, and other things.

FORUM BLUE & GOLD: How would you describe your rookie year?

ROBERT SACRE: I think I’ve seen more in one year than most guys have seen in five. That’s basically how I can wrap it all up in one year.

FB&G: Pau Gasol is still on the team. Chris Kaman was just signed. What are your individual goals with you possibly being the fourth big man (Jordan Hill is still on the team) on the team?

RS: Just to bring a lot of energy and get some playing time. You gotta focus on being able to get on the court by any means necessary.

FB&G: A lot of people don’t look at the Lakers any more as a championship team. Is that what we should look at them as?

RS: No. Not at all. We’re just as competitive and hungry like any teams going for the championship. I think we’re up there.

FB&G: We saw you shoot a couple of jumpers in (your summer league game against Cleveland). We even saw you shoot a three! Besides those jumpers, what part of your game are you working at?

RS: I’m just working on my all-around game. Be able to distribute, pass, and always play defense.

FB&G: Lastly, the Lakers just hired Mark Madsen as the assistant coach. Who is the better dancer? You or Mark?

RS: Me. Hands down. I hold it down with the dance moves.

We’d like to thank the always-entertaining Robert Sacre for a couple of minutes of his time.

While at Las Vegas Summer League, we caught up with Laker coach Mike D’Antoni, who was taking in the Los Angeles Clippers/Atlanta Hawks game.

FORUM BLUE & GOLD: Coach D’Antoni, how did last year’s Laker season compare to all of the other years in your coaching career?

MIKE D’ANTONI: It is what it is. It’s fun, it’s exciting. We just had to deal with a lot of stuff that happened last year. But in the end, we ended the year with a positive note. We’re looking forward to this coming year.

FB&G: Did the “WE WANT PHIL” chants bother you? I know it’s tough to follow a man who has won 11 championship rings.

MDA: You can understand it. You don’t invite it. But it doesn’t bother you.

FB&G: Do you expect Kobe back by the start of the regular season?

MDA: Yeah, I hope so. If anybody can do it, he can do it.

FB&G: As far as Dwight goes, what was your first reaction when you heard about him going to Houston?

MDA: It wasn’t a real big surprise. He just had to make a decision what was best for him. He did it, we’ll move on and do the best we can do.

FB&G: Lastly, I know it’s July. A lot of people seem to be writing off the Lakers. Should we write them off?

MDA: I would never write Kobe Bryant off. Or Steve Nash. Or Pau Gasol. I can understand why they do but that’s okay. You don’t win a championship in July. And we’ll see what happens.

We’d like to thank D’Antoni for a few minutes of his time.