Good things are coming in the way of the Los Angeles Lakers in the upcoming 2015-2016 NBA Season.
At least that's the belief of legendary basketball player and former Lakers center Kareem Abdul Jabaar who proclaimed his confidence that his former team will make it to the playoffs in the next season.
Jabaar made the statement in an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio, as he shared the views of the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers as well as the team's coaching staff who are all confident of their chances this next season.
Sirius XM also posted tweet quoting Jabaar's interview, "The @Lakers will surprise people in a positive way, I expect them to make the playoffs."
Jabaar's statement contradicts analysis of pundits, as well as the media, who all agreed that the famed Lakers will missed out in the postseason for a third consecutive season.
Aside from Jabaar, another Lakers veteran also anticipates the team clinching a playoff spot this season. Jamaal Wilkes also believes that his former can make the postseason. Wilkes said that the Lakers have a 'very real' chance of clinching one of the eight playoff spots in the Western Conference due to significant moves the team initiated in the off-season.
Lakers Nation said, "With positional battles set to get underway in training camp and the final roster not yet set, the immediate future for the Lakers remains uncertain. Los Angeles missing the playoffs for a third straight year is the safe bet, but there's a chance this team is able to put it together earlier than anticipated.
The Lakers definitely have the talent to make things interesting this season with D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle expected to be a part of the long-term future of the franchise. Although making a push for the playoffs in their first full season together appears to be stretch, it isn't out of the realm of possibility."
Julius Randle Thanks Kobe Bryant For His Injury Recovery
Meanwhile, Lakers forward Julius Randle credited Bryant for his quick recovery following his leg injury in his rookie year with the team, reported Fox Sports. Randle said Bryant, a veteran NBA player and a survivor of several injuries, encouraged and motivated him to get back on his feet after the injury.
The most important lesson Bryant imparted on him is patience, the 2014 Lakers first pick said.
"I'm 19 years old," Randle asked "How do I have patience?"
"It's the only choice," Bryant reportedly told him. "You'll see."
Kobe's words of encouragement eventually paid off. Randle added, "The biggest person to help get me through this was Kobe - by far."
According to Randle, he is also inspired the amount of dedication and commitment Kobe puts on every game and practice. He and Bryant played one-on-one during the pre-season and Randle said he was humbled by Bryant's work ethics.
Randle continued, "I want to keep learning from him. Kobe's going to challenge you and push you. If you have a certain fire, a love for the game, that doesn't bother you. He may not always say something to piss you off, but he maybe just says something that makes you think."