The New York Knicks gave a glimpse of how times have been for the fans in their toughest stages. The team found themselves in the headlines for the wrong reasons this past week. Specifically, Julius Randle made headlines that overshadowed the Knicks hard-fought win against the Boston Celtics that concluded with a bank-shot buzzer beater off the hands of RJ Barrett.
Randle was met with boo’s early on in the game for his struggles on the court and proceeded to give fans a “thumbs down”, as the tide started to shift and his play quality picked up later in the game. His response certainly won’t do his jersey sales any favors at Madison Square Garden and wasn’t the most admirable response. Fans would like to see their star player buckle-down and simply ignore the negativity. That said, I don’t believe any parties involved were explicitly wrong.
Sure, Knick fans should have patience and restrain themselves from booing their star player, but the frustration after a frustrating start of the season has essentially boiled over. It is difficult to blame the fans who paid for their tickets to enjoy a failing product after having expectations set for success after decades of misery. Randle should not expect the fans to cheer him for playing poorly.
Yet, the frustration that has overcome Knicks fans has likely overcome Randle as well. Randle wants to see the Knicks win just as badly as the fans do and simply met their frustration with some of his own. When asked what he meant, he infamously doubled-down and said he wanted them to “shut the f*** up”. This was the driving force of a $25,000 fine, but hopefully this is the end.
Randle ultimately apologized, citing that we all say things we regret to those that we love. Whether it was Randle or his publicist, Randle said he doesn’t “give a f***” what anyone thinks.” It is time for Randle and the rest of the fans to make up and focus on the remainder of the season. Ultimately, the Knicks used the situation to come out with a win against the Celtics and hopefully this can be the instrument that helps turn the season around for the championship-starved franchise.