Thursday night was electric in Madison Square Garden as the New York Knicks took on their long-time rivals, the Boston Celtics. After falling behind by as many as 25 points in the game, RJ Barrett, who followed up one of the best games of his career with a 3-14 shooting performance against the C’s, hit a wild shot to lift the New York to a 108-105 victory.
RJ BARRETT BEATS THE CELTICS AT THE BUZZER ‼️ pic.twitter.com/PAlHvoratT
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 7, 2022
However, the story shifted quickly to one of the players that made that shot possible in Julius Randle. Randle, known for playing with his heart on his sleeve, was seen giving the sellout crowd a thumbs down while he ran back down the court after making a tough layup inside over Al Horford in the fourth quarter.
After the game, Randle made it clear that the gesture was not for his opponent but Knicks fans via ESPN.
“Shut the f— up,” he said.
It seems that Randle’s frustrations are growing by the day after beat reporters asked him about ongoing fan criticism. The 2021 All-Star subsequently responded with harsh words after practice on Thursday.
“I really don’t give a f— what anybody has to say, to be honest,” Randle said. “I’m out there playing. Nobody knows the game out there better than I do, compared to what everybody has to say.
“So I really don’t give a s—. I just go out there and play.”
The Inside the NBA crew weighed in on the matter, and the entire panel said that Randle was wrong to do that to the fans.
“They’re there to cheer or to boo. There’s only two things you can do as a fan.”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 7, 2022
Last season, the Knicks snuck up on everyone by making the playoffs. However, the Knicks have struggled to regain that magic from last season this season. Randle’s production has dipped (19.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game) after an All-Star and All-NBA level campaign, and his jump-shot isn’t falling either (32.4 percent from three-point territory).
Julius Randle and the Knicks (19-20) run it back against the Boston Celtics (18-21) on Saturday night.