Between subway cars, police sirens, busy footsteps and millions of people, there is always will be noise in New York City. That extends to every crevice of the city including its sports scene, where every moment of every player’s life comes under a microscope. Athletes are beloved one day, hated the next and left to decide how to handle the pressure within their own lives. For New York Knicks power forward Julius Randle, the course of action was decidedly more contentious than most athletes choose.
When New York Knicks fans booed Randle and his struggling team during the middle of the season, he gave them a thumbs down. He told the crowd to settle down, in a more expletive fashion than that, and gave them a taste of their own medicine. At times, his body language was poor, his attention to detail was limited and it was clear that Randle was frustrated with the situation.
But what if New York Knicks fans and Julius Randle are upset about the same thing?
Randle and the New York Knicks have an opportunity to grow together.
Regression is the single most dominant factor in the deterioration of Randle’s relationship with the Knicks and vice versa. They expected the same All-NBA performance he gave the team when he led New York back to the Playoffs in 2021, and he expected them to stand by him no matter what. When things didn’t go as planned, things grew sour for both parties.
Following a successful offseason in which the Knicks accumulated future draft assets, signed combo guard Jalen Brunson and fleshed out their rotation, New York might be on track to make a postseason return—this time, with more firepower and improved contributions from their young players.
Adding more talent, including a lead ball-handler who can facilitate the offense, should take some stress off Randle’s shoulders and ensure that he can make a winning impact on the New York Knicks once more. Before looking ahead at what could go right, it’s important to contextualize what went wrong last season