The once lionhearted savior of Knicks basketball turned embodiment of inefficient play, Julius Randle might now find himself on his fourth team in five years. Because according to Ian Begley of SNYtv, there is already an undisclosed team in touch with the Knicks for the available Randle ‘for the right price.’
Does it have anything to do with Randle telling Knicks fans to STFU?
When Randle gave the MSG fans the thumbs down, he elegantly explained to a reporter that it meant, “Shut the f**k up!”. So with the same candid grace, Knicks media and their fans responded. The proceeding climate was best summed up with a comment from a New York radio show, Tiki and Tierney, on WFAN Radio.
“I don’t think he can say anything that will make New York Knicks fans forget” (Tiki, Tiki and Tierney).
The most overlooked part of this ‘boo the fans’ incident, and the funniest, was that Randle gets it easy! Has he copped more Knicks hate and slander than Patrick Ewing? No. What about Carmelo Anthony? Of course not. Hell, even New York native Derek Jeter who captained a World Series for The Big Apple, was torn to parts worse than Randle has ever experienced because that’s just the way it is there. So why was Randle so mad? More importantly, why has New York been booing him in the first place?
Randle has been disappointing…
Watching Randle take so much scolding that he would throw shots back to his own crowd makes Randle receiving MVP chants from the home crowd seem like a lifetime ago.
But there are two standout reasons for why this dynamic has shifted so rapidly in such a short time. The first is that Randle severely choked in the limelight of his first playoffs. But wait, wouldn’t that make him the truest Knick of them all?
After breaking out in an All-Star nodded campaign and leading his team to close out the season on a 16-4 run, the fans were ready for their first post-season play since 2013. But instead of watching Randle bully ball his way past a young and inexperienced Hawks team, he shrunk. So bad in fact that Derrick Rose took over as the part-time, ‘someones gotta score the points right now’ guy.
To add to the bricked shots, fourth-quarter Houdini disappearances, and countless turnovers, Trae Young added another chapter in the torment of Knicks mania.
The following reason is that Randle’s game regressed drastically.
Julius Randle Stats Comparison
2020-21: 24.1 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 6 APG, 41 3P%, 52 FG%
2021-22: 18.7 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 5 APG, 31 3P%, 46 FG%
With no significant injury to point the finger at, this becomes inexcusable. Worse, with only one standout season to set this failed bar and that we are more than halfway down the road of playoffs with Knicks not even in play-in tournament contention, this might only go one way for Randle.