Few (if any) people around the NBA saw their Q Score plummet on a scale close to that of New York Knicks big man Julius Randle. In terms of fan appeal in a home market, the 27-year-old had about as bad a year as one can imagine for a star player in their physical prime.
After becoming an All-Star with career-best production and leading a shocking march to the club’s first playoff berth in eight years in 2020-21, Randle saw his scoring average drop a whopping four points (from 24.1 to 20.1) in ’21-22, while his effective field-goal percentage descended to hellacious depths.
Randle’s EFG% of 45.9 was the sixth-worst mark in the entire league among players attempting 400 or more shots.
If that weren’t enough, the baller famously mixed it up with Knicks fans who booed him. And once you start going at your own people, it can be pretty hard to get back into their good graces. A quick scan of social media reveals that many fans are now clamoring for the baller to get bounced from NYC.
That hasn’t stopped Randle from working hard to return to his 2021 form, though. If recent photos/video of him — and some of his Knicks teammates — are any indication, now may just be the time to hop back on the bandwagon. Dude is lookin’ yoked!
Randle, Sims & Hunt Are Getting Shredded
Earlier this month, @NBA_NewYork on Twitter posted footage (embedded above) of Randle, Jericho Sims and Feron Hunt training under AJ Billings. The trio has very clearly been working overtime at one-time NBA baller Melvin Sanders‘ Dallas-based performance center.
And Knicks fans have been wowed by the results.
“Damn, Randle looks like he cut up even more and shaved off even more body fat,” raved one commenter. “Could this be a prelude to a bounce back the upcoming season? And Hunt/Sims are smart to train with him. If I was a newer player I’d want to stay close to the most devoutly fit dude on the team too lol.”
“Can’t say that Randle isn’t committed,” opined another fan. “If he stays on this season people have to buckle up and just trust the process.”
“Randle and Sims out here looking Super Human!!!” exclaimed a third tweeter.
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At a Glance
After entering the Association as the No. 58 pick in last year’s draft, the 6-foot-9 Sims was able to lock down a spot and appear in 41 games in ’21-22. Per 36 minutes, he averaged 5.8 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. He also made better than 72% of his field-goal attempts (81.5% of which came within three feet of the hoop).
Hunt, meanwhile, appeared in just two games for New York, spending significantly more time in the G League last season. Splitting the year between the Texas Legends and the Westchester Knicks, the 6-8 wing averaged 18.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists over 34 developmental games.
Both players are currently under two-way contracts.