BOSTON – Julius Randle apologized Friday for his comments directed at Madison Square Garden fans. While that may have appeased the fan base, the NBA did not let it go unpunished, fining him $ 25,000 on Saturday for “the gruesome use of profane language during media interviews.”
As some would say, curses.
He is certainly not the first player or coach to curse. The NBA issued a directive to teams last month that tried to curb what it believes have been excessive swear words from players and coaches. Randle was a repeat offender this week, as the league noted. He used curses after Wednesday’s training and again after the match on Thursday when he described his thumbs-down gesture to fans as a message to: “Close [expletive] up.”
The Knicks, with the home-and-home set against the Celtics moved from Madison Square Garden to TD Garden, hoped they could move on from the controversy, distancing a few hundred miles from the fans who had come under Randle’s skin – and hopefully left he closed his social media accounts.
“It’s an emotional game,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We all sometimes say things we regret later. He said what he had to say. He went on. He is focused on the next match.
“None of us will be perfect. I’m glad he did. Just get ready for the next game. He’s been here a while and understands New York. Like everyone else, you’re having a bad day at work, and you jump back the next day. Just make sure it’s not two days in a row. “
Randle had two bad days with interviews in a row, at least by NBA standards. But the problems and frustration had lingered long before he uttered those words. As the team has struggled to repeat the success from last season when they got seed No. 4, much of the blame has been placed on his shoulders.
His offensive numbers have dropped in almost every area since last year’s breakout season, when he achieved second-team All-NBA honors, but more than that, the team has performed poorly with him on the field.
Thursday came buh, and some of the poison may have been directed at him, but it was also sprayed against the whole team – outside Evan Fournier for one night. While Fournier’s shooting kept the Knicks within striking distance, Thibodeau said after the game that they had started with low energy.
It has been a common denominator that started slowly, fell behind and on nights like Thursday, and it seems to be flawed. The team fell behind by 25 in the second quarter, and after struggling to close the gap, they were down again by 20 in the third quarter before making the comeback that would end with a game-winning shot by RJ Barrett.
The comeback was made possible because Randle, no matter what inspired him, turned his game around and became much more aggressive as the game continued. Fournier came from a match where he was scoreless on Tuesday to deliver career-best 41 points on Thursday. And Barrett missed his first seven shots of the night and was 3-to-14 before lifting the battle-winning shot.
“You want to build on that day to day,” Thibodeau said. “Therefore, your mental toughness, the more you put into something, the harder it is to surrender. And then put everything you have into every fight.
“You’re not going to shoot well in every fight. But there are a lot of other things you can do. You never know when that will change. Sometimes it’s a busy game, a deflection, and then you get energy. You get a layup or two. Things can change quickly. They can go from very bad to big really fast. And they can go from big to bad, really fast. And you have to navigate both. So be mentally tough. , when you face adversity. “