New York Knicks fans have had a rocky relationship with Julius Randle since day one, but after their playoff series loss, it may be at its worst.
The two-time All-Star received MVP chants at Madison Square Garden in the 2020-21 season when he carried the Knicks to their first playoff appearance in eight years. The following season, he was seen giving fans who booed him due to poor play a thumbs down
That began the love-hate relationship, but at the moment, there’s no love lost.
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Julius Randle of the New York Knicks after getting injured during the Miami Heat game at Madison Square Garden on March 29, 2023. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
After the Knicks were knocked out of the playoffs with their second-round loss to the Miami Heat, fans walking near MSG were seen taking down a poster of Randle and stomping on it.
With the anger came celebration from other Knicks fans watching the ruckus go on.
Knicks’ fans frustrations are justified – in the Knicks’ final game of the season, Randle, who averaged a career-high 25.1 points per game in the regular season, scored just 15 on 3-of-14 shooting. Randle averaged 18.8 points per contest against Miami, and 16.6 throughout the playoffs.
Randle earned his second All-Star nod of his career earlier this season.
Julius Randle of the Knicks drives against the Miami Heat during the Eastern Conference semifinals on May 2, 2023, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
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It should be noted that Randle suffered an ankle sprain late in the regular season that he re-aggravated in the playoffs, which forced him to miss Game 1 of the Heat series. However, it seems like Knicks fans don’t care too much about that.
Jalen Brunson scored 41 of the Knicks’ 92 points in Game 6.
The Heat are now in their third Eastern Conference final in the last four years as the eighth seed – they will take on the winner of the Philadelphia 76ers-Boston Celtics series, which will finish with Sunday’s Game 7.
Julius Randle of the New York Knicks before the game against the Cavaliers on April 18, 2023, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. (David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Randle has two years remaining on his four-year deal – worth north of $117 million – he signed before the 2021-22 season.