Do not adjust your computer screen; that is Julius Randle wearing a New Orleans Pelicans uniform. The former Laker was introduced as a Pelican in a press conference today and told reporters that fellow Kentucky alum Anthony Davis played a large part in recruiting him to the Big Easy.
“I actually reached out to [Anthony] to get his advice on how he felt and how he liked it out here,” Randle said. “He told me and then he called me like three times in a row afterward to pretty much get the job done.”
General manager Dell Demps confirmed that Davis took an active part in locking down Randle.
“He’s always been active in recruiting and obviously they have a relationship with the Kentucky ties. It was funny, when he first came available, AD texted me and said, ‘Julius is available.’ I said, ‘Yeah, we’re on it.’ It was funny — the way everything happened, his representatives said , ‘Hey, he’s looking for AD’s number,’ and AD’s calling me, saying, ‘I’ve got Julius’ number, I think I’ve got the right number, I’ve been calling him.’ Everything worked out great.”
Randle signed a two-year, $18 million contract with the Pelicans and insisted that New Orleans is the perfect fit.
“This was the best fit for me and the best spot,” Randle said. “There wasn’t really a better fit than coming here.”
Of course, sharing a frontcourt with Davis helps. Randle said Davis’ opinion means a lot to him and vowed to pull his weight.
“It’s very important,” Randle said of Davis’ opinion. “It’s their star player, it’s their franchise guy who’s been there since the beginning, from what they’ve been able to build up until now. For him to see me fit in well to their plan and their future means a lot and with that comes a lot of responsibility. Like I told him, I’ll be there on the front line with him every game. You’re not going to have to worry about me bringing my hardhat.”
Hilariously, Randle was given the locker of Rajon Rondo, who now plays for the Lakers.
“I think I got Rondo’s locker. I think it was his old locker. His stuff wasn’t gone yet, so I moved it out of the way. I love Rondo though.”
Someone on the Pelicans janitorial staff is now the proud owner of some used Connect Four sets.
Enjoy the entire press conference below.