The New York Knicks have taken a significant step back from last season’s fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference. The main factor for the regression this year is the lackluster play from Julius Randle. This offseason it’s time for the front office to come to the tough decision to trade the team’s former All-Star.
Last year, Randle was named to his first All-NBA team, made his first appearance in an All-Star game, and even was awarded the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award. This season has been drastically different, as he’s struggled to get into a consistent groove since opening night.
The 27-year-old was the “King of NY” last year, but this season fans have quickly turned on Randle. The Knicks’ fanbase wasn’t happy when their starting power forward thought it was a good idea to give them a thumbs down gesture, along with telling them to “shut the f*** up.”
Julius Randle’s lackluster play has been an issue for the Knicks
Last year was a unique season. Fans weren’t allowed to attend games for most of the season and there were less games. Randle should still be given the credit that he deserves for his performance last year, as he led New York to its first playoff appearance since the 2012-13 season.
With that being said, he’ll likely never again come close to the numbers that he put up during that magical run. If you look at Randle’s other season totals, this year shouldn’t come as a surprise.
The 27-year-old has shot under 30% from behind the arc four times throughout his career. His statistics are eye-opening, as he has career averages of:
- 17.7 points per game
- 9.3 rebounds per game
- 3.5 assists per game
Everything about last season was different. It’s safe to say that it was an outlier year for Randle’s career.
Meanwhile, this season has been a rocky ride. Knicks fans have become accustomed to the power forward forcing bad shots, turning the ball over, and not hustling back on defense. Understandably, fans especially don’t enjoy watching their star player not give maximum effort.
Julius Randle has turned on the New York Knicks fanbase
New York City is known for having some of the best fans in all of sports. Even when Randle clearly wasn’t an MVP favorite last season, fans in Madison Square Garden always supported him with “MVP” chants. Randle quickly became the face of NYC last year, but that’s no longer the case.
Since then, Randle’s been facing even more criticism from New York’s faithful and it’s only getting worse. Fans aren’t pleased with the shade that their once beloved Randle’s been throwing at them.
In a recent win against a very good Chicago Bulls team, Randle threw the ball away and stormed into the locker room, all while holding his head down. By the look of his body language throughout the game, it seems as if he isn’t enjoying the recent win streak, unlike the rest of his teammates.
A day later on WFAN’s show, Carton and Roberts, Craig Carton explained that Randle reportedly informed the Knicks’ front office that he wanted out of New York.
It makes sense why Randle would want out, as rumors have been circulating that he’s upset with his current situation.
Nonetheless, Randle should still be given his props for last season’s run. He carried an average Knicks roster to being one of the better teams in the conference. He did so by averaging over 24 points per game and shooting 45.6% from the floor.
It may hurt some fans to see Randle potentially go out like this, but it could be the best thing for both parties. And for Obi Toppin, too.