Drama Surrounding Julius Randle & Knicks Continues To Worsen

Wikimedia Commons

JB Baruelo

It was not too long ago when the New York Knicks' fan base still admired veteran power forward Julius Randle. After being named an NBA All-Star, All-NBA Second Team, and NBA Most Improved Player last season, most people viewed Randle as one of the players who would lead the Knicks back to title contention. However, things have started to change in the 2021-22 NBA season.

After failing to live up to the hype, Randle turned from being one of the most loved players on the Knicks into the odd man out in New York.

Julius Randle Starts War With Knicks' Fans

The relationship between Randle and the Knicks' fan base has started to worsen during their January 6 matchup against the Boston Celtics. After scoring in the fourth quarter, Randle was caught sending a thumbs-down sign to their fans. In a post-game interview, the veteran power forward said that he gave their fans a thumbs down to tell them to "shut the f--- up," according to ESPN.

It was easy to understand why Randle was frustrated with their fans. The Knicks may have beaten the Celtics in their matchup but when they were trailing by double figures, they were being booed by their own supporters inside Madison Square Garden.

Julius Randle & Knicks Got Fined

Shutterstock | 564025

Randle received a $25,000 fine from the NBA for using profane language twice during interviews. Aside from their January 6 game against the Celtics, Randle also used profane language after a January 5 practice. After that, the Knicks decided not to let Randle attend an interview.

Unfortunately, the Knicks' decision to shut Randle's mouth fired back. In a Twitter post, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports revealed that NBA also fined the Knicks $25,000 for violating league rules governing media interview access.

Opponents Notice Fans' Treatment Of Knicks

Wikimedia Commons

After they beat the Knicks on Thursday night, New Orleans Pelicans shooting guard Josh Hart noticed that the Knicks don't really have a homecourt advantage inside the Madison Square Garden.

“It was like we were playing 6-on-5,” Hart said, as quoted by Mark W. Sanchez of the New York Post. “Usually on the road, your back’s against the wall, really the only guys that you have is guys in that locker room. Today, the fans weren’t on our side, but they just weren’t on their side, either.”

Can Knicks Turn Things Around This Season?

Shutterstock | 3586184

As of now, the Knicks are on a three-game losing streak, sitting in the No. 11 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 22-24 record. The Knicks still have plenty of games left to turn things around in the 2021-22 NBA season. However, a Western Conference executive who spoke to ESPN has doubts if the Knicks can really make their second consecutive appearance in the playoffs this year.

"It's hard to argue [the Knicks] should be anything other than what they are right now," the anonymous league executive said. "I don't think Julius is going to suddenly be more efficient, and I don't think Kemba, Fournier or even Rose -- when he's healthy -- are going to get better defensively."