GREENBURGH, NY – Julius Randle sat down to discuss a topic he wanted little to do with – the continuing strange turn his relationship with Madison Square Garden has faithfully taken. And perhaps to his credit, he tried to put it behind him, answering every question on the subject with a manuscript: “I have already addressed that.”
The problem for Randle is that Knicks fans, as evidenced by the ugly chants and catcalls on Monday, may not be done grabbing their side of it.
Randle lit a fuse on things Thursday as he gave a thumbs-down signal to fans and explained afterwards that his message was: “Close [expletive] he could have been right about that too, as he gained some understanding from the fan base with his game last season when he achieved second-team All-NBA honors and led the franchise to a level it had not reached in eight seasons. And his anger was not just about bubbly in the garden, but there were low blows, a segment of social media that celebrated his entry into the NBA’s health and safety protocols two weeks ago.
He returned to Garden on Monday, and while the Knicks appeased the crowd with a convincing victory over the San Antonio Spurs, he had only two points, his lowest score in his three seasons in New York, turned the ball around three times and looked great. as if the crowd came to him.
“I think on a normal day it would affect anyone,” Taj Gibson said. “When you go to a popular stadium, Madison Square Garden, one of the best places to play, one of the biggest fan bases in the world, you want pressure. That’s why he chose to come here, as many people wanted not really take it.But he’s here, you know I say?
“But it comes with the game. You can ask Patrick Ewing, you know what I say? A lot of guys dealt with it. It’s part of New York. You play well, they’ll love you. You play badly, you’re going to hear about it. But it’s just a chip on your shoulder and you just have to move on. Not many people can play here. You just have to be tough on it. But like I said before we have a great group of young guys, a great group of guys on this team who just love to play hard for this team, so we just have to look forward to just moving on. “
Randle’s numbers will certainly rise from what he put up on Monday and when the Knicks go on the field Wednesday night against the Dallas Mavericks. He will be spared the comparison with the last player to wear the uniform to really attract fans, Kristaps Porzingis, as the previous Knicks lottery selection will be put on the sidelines while he is on health and safety protocols. Victories, achievements and most of all busyness will love him again and the Knicks believe it will all come.
Randle said of the matches on Monday: “I’m glad we won yesterday.”
“He comes here every day,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “You’ll get a big effort from Julius. He’s coming in. We know our team – winning is the most important thing for everyone, that’s what everyone’s focused on. So come in every day and put everything you have in it. He has been the same. I have seen him when everything goes his way, I have seen him when things do not go his way. He will be the same guy. Put the work in and be ready to go. “