New York Knicks’ Julius Randle on gesture to MSG fans, $25K fine: ‘I’ve already dealt with it’

GREENBURGH, NY — New York Knicks star Julius Randle was not interested in discussing his decision to tell Madison Square Garden fans to shut up last week.

“I’ve already brought it up,” Randle said Tuesday afternoon when asked where he hopes his relationship with the fans will go from here after giving the crowd a thumbs down at MSG during Thursday’s win over the Boston Celtics, later saying its message was to “keep quiet” and then apologize in a lengthy Instagram post Friday.

When asked if he had spoken to Knicks management about what had happened, or if he was surprised by the response, Randle reiterated, “I’ve already discussed it.”

Randle also had a one-word answer — “None” — when asked if he had any response to a $25,000 fine by the NBA for what it said was “outrageous use of profane language during media interviews.”

Randle briefly touched on what happened last week when asked what was in his decision to apologize.

“I just felt like I had to address certain things that were being said, whatever it was,” Randle said.

During his media session Tuesday, which lasted just under five minutes and came after the team watched a film at the Westchester practice facility, Randle — who met for the first time since his post-game comments following that win over the Celtics. had with reporters – mostly short, concise answers, just like he did after Thursday’s win.

All of this came in the wake of the final twist in this story on Monday night, when Randle and the Knicks played at home for the first time since Thursday’s events. And while the Knicks took a comfortable win over the San Antonio Spurs, Randle finished with two points — his lowest total as a Knick — and was booed at several points during the game.

It added an extra layer of weirdness to what was already a quixotic season for New York, which last season followed its fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference with a tie for 10th place in Wednesday’s game against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks (19 :30 p.m. ET on ESPN)

“I think on a normal day it would affect everyone,” said Knicks veteran Taj Gibson, when asked if everything that’s going on affects Randle. “If you go to a popular stadium, Madison Square Garden, one of the best places to play, one of the No. 1 fan bases in the world, you’re going to come under pressure. That’s why he chose to come here… .

“A lot of guys deal with it. It’s part of New York. If you play well, they’ll love you. If you play bad, you’ll hear about it. But it’s just a chip on your shoulder, and you have to further.”

It was a similar message from Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, who echoed comments he made after Monday’s win that it would be best for everyone involved if Randle moved forward.

“Listen, we’re a team,” Thibodeau said. “We’re all talking to each other. That’s important. But the most important thing is the actions. You can say all the right things, but do nothing. The important thing is to put the work into it, get ready to play, sacrifice for the team, put the team first.

“We know we have a very passionate fan base and we appreciate that. We love it. The building is full, there is no other building like this in the NBA, it is the best place to play, we appreciate them I’ve seen them go crazy on Julius and this is all part of it They’re passionate So whether it’s praise or criticism it doesn’t matter I love that they are passionate about their team Julius is passionate about the city, our fans, the game, winning, and that’s all that matters. Come in every day, keep moving forward.”

The Knicks have made it clear that they support Randle, and Gibson, who grew up in Brooklyn and knows a thing or two about basketball in New York, said that Randle’s teammates are there for him, and that this will eventually pass.

“We all stick together,” Gibson said. “It’s not just one guy trying to get to him. But one thing about Julius, one thing first about our team, we have a great group of young guys. Sometimes we overlook the age difference, or our young guys, just because of how professional they all carry themselves.They are still relatively young guys so you have yet to figure out how to handle certain things, this bit of setback. …

“Everyone is a little annoyed sometimes. But he’s a great boy.”

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