Now the music of Julius Randall, loyal fans of the Garden and the “Bing-Bongs” will face off when the Knicks host Spurs on Monday.
It was interesting to see the reaction of the crowd when Randall was introduced as part of the opening lineup before the competition.
These Knicks fans have taken so much abuse in this millennium – their team has won just one playoff series since 2000.
But they were never told to “shut the F-K up,” as Randall did in the last home game Thursday.
During his spectacular buzzer-beating victory over the Celtics, provided by RJ Barrett’s 3-point bank shot and Evan Fournier’s career-high 41 points, Randall gave fans a thumbs-down gesture and then described his action in profane terms.
This is a fan class in the NBA, and there is no need to lecture on loyalty. The Brooklyn Nets Hall-of-Famer-Leyden is a title-contending powerhouse across the East River and has not stolen any orange and blue diehards.
The NBA was angry with Randall’s words and gestures, especially after the December 2 league memo warning about gestures and bad language.
The league on Saturday fined him $ 25,000 for “grossly obscene language” despite his Instagram apology.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau noted the bad judgment Randall used, saying he “had a bad day at work.”
“It’s an emotional game,” Thibodeau said in Boston on Saturday. “We all say things we regret later. He said what he had to say. He moved on. None of us are perfect. I’m glad he did. He’s been here for a while and understands New York.
There are signs that Randall will have a bust-out evening on Monday, enjoying less publicity than the All-Star (he didn’t finish in the top 10 in Eastern forwards on early voting returns).
Randall, a Dallas native, weaved a solid second half in San Antonio last month and finished with 15 points and seven assists. He showed positive energy when his shots started to fall, encouraging his teammates in the yard.
While Randall’s shots are lacking, bad body language can sometimes mark Randall’s campaign.
On Saturday, Randall Train was devastated and lost his stability in the second half as the Knicks scored 55-33 in a 99-75 disaster. Randall had trouble catching passes as the game progressed. All told, Randall made six trades, from 3-point land to 1-7 in scoring 13 points. Randall was then unavailable for comment in the interview room. Reporters have not been allowed in the locker room for the past two epidemic seasons.
The best part of Randall’s written apology is that he remains committed to the organization despite his apparent disdain for how he has behaved this season – whether during social media, traditional media or games.
Despite his big 30-point night against the Pacers on Tuesday, Randall stepped into the line late in the game and chanted Gordon RJ Barrett. This seems to be a trolling tactic as he chanted “MVP” at Randall last season.
But after Randall’s All-Star campaign in 2020-21, his numbers are down – especially his 3-point shooting percentage, which fell from 41.1 percent to 31.6 percent.
Randall doesn’t shoot 3s in the empty arena as he did most of last season. As one scout said, “It’s easy to shoot in an empty arena. Now it is full again and we are back to it anyway, ” he said.
In fact, Randall has yet to fully get out of the funk of last season’s playoffs against Atlanta after the Arenas rebuilt.
Randall’s woes are partly due to the Knicks standing at 19-21 – 11th in the Eastern Conference. If the season ends today, they’ll be in the lottery – not even a play-in tournament.
Las Vegas entered the Knicks this season, when the sports books came out for their over / under victories. The Knicks finished eighth in victories in the Vegas Eastern Conference, and some Knicks fans trembled.
But all of those concerns have come to fruition since his 41-31, fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference last season.
His age 30-plus point guard, Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose, remain healthy. The new-signee Fournier is not stable enough – either end.
And most of all, Randall doesn’t look like a second-team All-NBA superstar.