Over the last week, Knicks fans’ blood pressure has risen – every game seemingly coming down to the last seconds. Elation, heartbreak, and everything in-between – the feelings experienced with every shot that either went down or barely missed.
The New York Knicks have been on both sides of it. Experiencing the elation in a win against the Orlando Magic, and the heartbreak thrice in games against the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers.
Mobbing teammates and throwing chairs – the team has worn their feelings on their sleeves all season long, and this week was no different.
Knicks star Julius Randle hasn’t hidden his emotions this season. After spending all off-season growing into the role of leader for New York, he’s exclaimed on multiple occasions that he’s ‘damn proud’ to be a Knick.
His passion for his craft, his teammates, and his city has been on display all season – visible after wins and losses alike. As some skeptics ask him to turn it down, the Knicks’ leader shouldn’t adjust the volume on his enthusiasm.
Randle became obsessed with improving this off-season, and it’s paid off – he’s putting up numbers that nobody would’ve ever believed coming into the year. He’s shaken off the disrespect and firmly planted himself into the limelight – earning an All-Star appearance in the process.
Randle’s transformation has the Knicks dug into a competitive playoff race in the Eastern Conference, making every game count more than the next. As he gives it his all, it’s demoralizing for him when the game is seemingly taken out of his hands – not just by the other team, but by the officials as well.
Twice this week the officials were the ire of Randle’s frustration. A call against the Nets left chairs scattered in the Barclays Center, and another against the 76ers when a bevy of ticky-tacky calls added up to cost his team the game.
It all boiled over into one post-game quote, “After all the fouling and everything that was going on, for them to call that and decide the game is f—ing ridiculous,” said Randle.
“They have to do a better job. It’s too many games like this.”
Knicks: Julius Randle embodies the fanbase’s passion
Passion (pas·sion): a strong feeling or emotion
Passion roars its head in many ways. After wins, it’s seen in team celebrations and emotional post-game interviews. After losses like the Knicks had this week, Randle’s passion still showed – just in different ways.
Randle came to New York to change the culture – to help the franchise step into a new era. After years of being the doormat of the NBA, you need players like Randle at the forefront of that era – players want to win so bad, losing hurts.
For far too long, the Knicks have had players who accepted that the team just wasn’t good enough – losing was okay. Finally, the team has a player who doesn’t just possess the skills to win but has the will to do so coursing through his veins.
A couple of chairs thrown and some censored quotes is a small price to pay for a city that’s been starved for a passionate star-like Randle.