Frustrated after their season-ending loss to the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, a group of New York Knicks fans frowned upon Julius Randle, defaced and trampled on his poster outside Madison Square Garden Friday night. The incident occurred as fans were leaving an MSG observing party for Game 6 in which Randle did not perform well.
Randle, a two-time All-Star and last season’s All-NBA Third Team, scored just 15 points on 3-for-14 shooting, a flat streak that included 1-of-7 from 3-point range. A lack of production from Randle and several other Knicks stars resulted in a 96-92 loss to finish the playoff run despite heroics and individual wit by Galen Bronson, who scored 41 points to force a closeout.
After the game, a group of fans in Madison Square Garden were seen trampling on an already defaced poster of Randle with the words “Trade me!” Accompanied by a smiling face with its tongue sticking out.
Randle, who signed a four-year, $117 million deal to join the Knicks in 2019, has had a complicated relationship with the demanding New York market. In 2022, Randle responded to being booed by Knicks fans by giving a thumbs up after mustering 25 points to come back to victory, a gesture he later said was a signal “close f – k“.
Fans’ frustration with Randle over the Knicks’ exit from the playoffs didn’t come out of nowhere, as the All-Star team was disappointed even though the Knicks as a whole had their best postseason in a decade. In two basketball playoff rounds, Randle averaged 16.6 points and 8.3 rebounds on 37.4 percent shooting.
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