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Kobe Bryant instilled a work ethic in Julius Randle that has stayed true to this day

Maybe this is the reason why New York will be in playoff contention for the first time in almost a decade.

NBA: New York Knicks at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The best basketball players in the history of the game didn’t get there by chance.

I think that’s something we all can agree on. While physical attributes can play a role, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, two of the best to ever pick up a ball, were not the greatest athletes of all time.

What they did have was a work ethic.

As for the late Bryant, a player that has touched the game of so many up-and-coming stars like Jayson Tatum, he laid the foundation for Julius Randle, not just from a skill standpoint but from a work ethic one as well.

Randle has transcended to one of the best power forwards in the NBA and has taken exponential leaps in the last few seasons. Recently, a story was shared about the impact that Bryant had on Randle. Randle played with Kobe his final two years in the NBA.

In summation, Kobe would get to gyms before hitting the hotel. Every road game he would do that. Randle mimicked that type of work ethic, and he’s still doing it to this day. I would highly encourage you to listen to the entire clip.

Randle’s shooting, while it can’t be attributed to just this practice, has been dramatically improved this season.

He went from averaging .1 threes per game his fourth season in the league to 1.0 his seventh season in the league. He’s now sitting at 2.0 just a year later. Nearing 40 percent from deep, Randle is shooting a career high from both downtown and the free-throw line.

It’d be ignorant to think that his work ethic hasn’t played a part in his tremendous improvement. This is the legacy that Kobe left, and it will be one that could continue throughout generations of basketball.