Saying that the Knicks are having a disappointing season would be an understatement. After the previous season where the team surprised everyone with a 4th seed finish, Knicks fans had high expectations for the team that now, after 46 games, seems like they were never going to be met. There are a lot of reasons for this, coaching, inconsistency, bad free-throw shooting, etc., but there is one saga that I’ve been seeing unfold that has gotten under my skin and today I want to talk about it. My problem with the Knicks’ “star” player, Julius Randle.
If you ever watch a Knicks game, one where they win or lose, you’ll notice a lot of complaining. Either players are complaining to refs about fouls that are called on them or fouls that haven’t been called for them. And no player that represents the latter type of complaint better than Randle. Throughout the season he has repeatedly voiced his frustration over not getting the foul calls that he believes he deserves. It’s gotten to the point that last night, Randle received a technical for yelling at a referee, you could see that he was irate. My big issue with this is very simple, Randle does this and still plays awful. It’s bad having to watch Randle have this step-down of a season. I always knew that Randle was never superstar level, or good enough to lead a team that wants to win it all, but this has been at times just hard to watch.
His problem is not him not getting calls, it’s his inflated ego. The same one that made him think putting the dumbs down gesture as a means of saying “Shut the f*ck up” at the MSG crowd. The same one that makes him act like he’s LeBron every time he goes down the lane and doesn’t get a call. The same ego that Knicks are trying to protect by refusing to have him do post-game interviews. In reality, Julius Randle is a decent player, who can only use his left and lets his emotions get the best of him. I can understand being frustrated, the New York media and fanbase are very harsh, especially to the player who is supposed to lead, just ask Carmelo Anthony. The problem is, while he complains and feels how he feels; he looks awful out on the court. The Knicks just got blown out by the Pelicans, a team that is 11 games below .500, and what did Julius Randle score? 4 points. You can’t complain about the refs and complain about the fans, and then have a game that bad; the type of game we’ve been seeing from him more and more recently. There is something wrong with Julius Randle, not everyone else. Unless we’re talking about the team, because there is a lot of problems with the Knicks, Randle is just one of the biggest.