The truth is that some New York Knicks fans will hate Julius Randle, whether he is playing well or not. However, right now, Randle is playing the best he has ever played and is still receiving hatred from Knicks fans.
Since Randle joined the New York Knicks in 2019, fans have found ways to hate his game when he is one of the most consistent players the organization has seen in years.
It's easy to say that Knicks fans have had a rocky relationship with Randle since day one. The reality is that the Knicks would not be the team they are right now without him on the roster and performing the way he is.
Julius Randles's efficient offseason
During the offseason, Randle was recovering from ankle surgery and dove into a study of scrolling through video clip after video clip of himself playing throughout the years (subscription required). Considering Randle couldn't even walk, he wanted to improve his game and train his mind by watching films. He evaluated himself closely to see how he could get better.
A couple of weeks into the 2023-24 season, it was clear that his offseason studies worked. Randle came into games as a different player. He plays more innovatively and more demandingly. He is taking shots that are easier and looking to pass instead of looking to shoot the ball. Instead of shooting more three-point shots, he is taking the ball into the paint to get his more consistent mid-range jump shots.
Even with his strong play, I still find myself scrolling through "X" (Twitter) and seeing Knicks fans bashing Randle's game.
Why do Knicks fans hate Julius Randle so much?
It has gotten worse in recent years and probably reached its peak after the playoff exit last season against the Heat when angry Knicks fans ripped down and stomped on a poster of Randle outside of Madison Square Garden.
Randle has struggled in the playoffs and only averaged 17.1 points in the postseason. Even though Randle was a big reason why the Knicks reached the playoffs, fans don't seem to care much about that.
Knicks fans talk the most about getting rid of Randle in a trade. Many fans create their trade packages to get "star players," and it is common to see Randle included in the package.
Whenever the media asks Randle how he handles fan criticism, his simple answer is, "I've heard it all."
Julius Randle is once again looking like an All-Star player
Randle is averaging 24.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists in an average of 35.5 minutes per game. He has had one of the most significant transformations of any player in the league, from not being an efficient shooter or playmaker to playing like a leader and taking easier shots while taking advantage of his matchups.
Since Jalen Brunson joined the Knicks last year, he took over Randle's leadership position, and Knicks fans have stood behind him. Don't get me wrong, Brunson is a player who will lead this team to many deep playoff runs and maybe even a championship in later years. However, give credit where it's due, and that's to Randle for putting the Knicks back on the map.
Before Randle joined the Knicks, the organization was facing losing season after losing season. Once Randle joined, it took a season to adjust to the rotation, but once he could find his place, it clicked.
Randle led the Knicks to their first playoff berth in eight years in 2021. Although they lost to Trae Young and the Hawks in the first round, Knicks fans still were hopeful for the organization's future. That same season, Randle was awarded the NBA Most Improved Player Award while also being named as a reserve for the NBA All-Star Game.
The following season led to another missed playoff berth, but in 2023, Randle was back in the NBA All-Star Game and played a massive role in getting the Knicks back in the postseason.
Randle is one of the first four players this season to have 700+ points, 250+ rebounds, and 150+ assists. The other players in this statistic are Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, and Joel Embiid.
Randle is in his prime right now, and some Knicks fans still don't appreciate him. Without a championship in New York, those fans won't fully appreciate Randle's talent.