In an incredible game at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night, the Knicks beat the Celtics at the cost of a crazy scenario. In addition to this victory, we will unfortunately remember the small public quarrel between Julius Randle and the fans present in the room, the player not having really appreciated the boos of the public and what he made known in his own way.
After a big comeback 25 points against the Celtics last night under the impetus of a stratospheric Evan Fournier, an incident nevertheless came to spoil the party. Indeed, in the middle of the fourth quarter, Julius Randle put in a powerful lay-up against Al Horford and then addressed his audience … with a big big thumbs down, like the Roman Emperor in the gladiatorial fights. Julius thus responded in a very courteous manner to the public, who nevertheless chanted his name, and at the same time what could be more logical than to respond like that to an audience who pushes you to succeed in a comeback. After the game, Gotham reporters obviously rushed to him like people would scramble for toilet paper in March 2020, for the J to explain his gesture.
“What did this gesture mean?” Shut up. Is this a response to the public? You saw what happened. “
Kenny Smith’s response to Julius Randle saying his ‘thumbs down’ gesture to the MSG crowd meant “shut the f ** k up. “
– Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 7, 2022
Atmosphere… The day before, the MIP 2021 had not already been kind to its fans during training.
“I really don’t care what people say, to be honest. I am here to play. No one knows the game better than I do, compared to what everyone else has to say. So I really don’t care. I just go to the field and play. “
Hmm … When you get your most fervent supporters used to seasons like the one he dropped in 2021, it’s normal that they expect a little more from you. Admittedly, the J compiles 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists of average since October, but this time the percentages are cracra (42/32/76) and the attitude in defense is blazeresque. In short, as we often say around here: you do dirty things and you collect praise, you are less focused, you get finished. It’s the game when you’re supposed to be the franchise player for a competitive team and what’s more in a (very) big market like New York.
So yes, Knicks fans have taken a grudge against him for some time, but at the same time, it must be said that his season is totally different from the previous one. We are talking about 24 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists on average, in 46/41/81, in a fourth team in the East and with a real defensive identity brought by Tom Thibodeau. Julius Randle had even become All-Star (deserved) and elected MIP (deserved), all of which was part of the All-NBA 2nd Team (deserved). The new darling of MSG, while doubts remained at the start of the season, but despite these doubts the original Texan had been imperial. Quite naturally, with this more than mixed season, doubts are returning to the streets of New York. Can it be the first option for a competitive team? What about his leadership? Is the elephant really stronger than the hippo? Because the hippopotamus is still super strong. Questions that Randle will quickly have to answer if he does not want to become the MSG scavenger, one more in a list as long as the arms of Obi Toppin.
Julius Randle is going through difficult times and his moody gesture yesterday is proof of that. Between statements a little limited and insufficient level of play, the leader of the Knicks will quickly have to get back on his feet if he wants to hang the Top 3 of his conference, a utopian goal for some … but not for fans of the Big Apple.
Text source: Tim Bontemps / ESPN
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Julius Randle and the Knicks fans, in I neither love you mode right now: “What did my gesture mean? Shut your mouths”