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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Randall: Thumbs down for silencing booing fans

NEW YORK – Star forward Julius Randall was not amused, despite helping his team engineer a remarkable 25-point comeback against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.

In the middle of the fourth quarter, Randall made a layoff and, as he ran back to the other end of the court, gave the sell-out crowd a thumbs-down as they cheered his name.

When asked after the game what message he was trying to send to fans, Randall didn’t mince his words.

“Chat f—up,” he said.

In response to a follow-up question about whether this was what the Knicks heard in the first two-plus quarters of Thursday’s win, when the Celtics beat them outright, Randall said, “You see. You see what’s going on.” was out there.”

Randall’s thumbs-down gesture was reminiscent of what then-New York Mets shortstop Javier Baez did this summer. After hitting a home run, Badge gave a pair of thumbs-downs to the crowd at Citi Field, saying the latter was in response to the fans’ behavior toward him and his teammates throughout the season.

For Randall, the gesture was a continuation of comments made the day before at the team’s practice facility, when he was asked about the negativity that has surrounded his game this season.

“I don’t really give a f— what anyone has to say to be honest,” Randley said. “I’ve been playing there. No one knows the game better than me than everyone else has to say.

“So I don’t really give an S—. I just go out there and play.”

Last season was a lucrative one for both Randall and the Knicks. He became the first All-Star and All-NBA player to win the NBA’s best player award en route to 41 wins to the Knicks and fourth-seeded in the Eastern Conference playoffs. He set career highs in multiple categories including scoring, rebounding, assists, 3-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage, helping New York break a seven-year playoff drought. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau also won the league’s Coach of the Year award for the second time.

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However, this year has been very different. Randall’s production has declined, particularly his 3-point shooting, which is down more than 8 percent from last season. And while the Knicks had almost the same record this time around last season, the circumstances surrounding it are very different.

Last season, the Knicks entered the season without any expectations and surpassed them all. This year, they entered the season with expectations of a fourth-place finish from last year’s East, but after Thursday’s dramatic win they find themselves sitting in 10th place in the conference – the final play-in tournament spot.

Celtics star Jason Tatum hit a game-tying jumper over Knicks’ RJ Barrett with 1.5 seconds, Barrett won the 3-pointer on the buzzer.

Randall, who gave several bitten answers before explaining his actions during the game, was asked if the win was special.

“I don’t know,” said Randall. “It was special for our team. But we kept fighting. Obviously we don’t want to go into a hole, but as a team, we fought, kept up with it and found a way to win the game. “

Randall has always played with his heart up his sleeve, and that passion has bubbled up a second time this season, including against crosstown rival Brooklyn Nets earlier this season, when he and Thibodeau were disappointed that How he was being umpired at a Knicks loss. ,

“He puts emotion into everything he does,” said Ivan Fournier, who scored a career-high 41 points against his former team and admitted that he didn’t notice Randall’s gestures towards the crowd.

“He probably wasn’t happy [the booing], To be honest, it’s not a big deal. If I were that, I’d work hard as hell and [playing] Well… when you give your all to something and you put so much into something and it doesn’t work or you’re being called out, it’s frustrating.

“But that’s the business we’re in. And Julius is the image of the franchise. He’s the star player, so he’s definitely going to get more criticism. And I think he understands that.”


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