More than a year after that lowest point of his Knicks career, Randle can now joke about it and look back with a different perspective.
“I would say first thing first, if you want a lesson, don’t do thumbs down to the crowd. I did that. That didn’t work out well for me (laughs),” Randle said on Paul George’s Podcast P show. “That was my immaturity maybe. Don’t do that.”
Randle returned this past season a better man growing from that experience. He showed more restraint, leaning on a pre-game meditation routine. His play showed his growth as he performed even better than in his first All-Star season.
This past season, Randle earned his second All-Star berth and a spot in the All-NBA Third Team after averaging a double-double — a career-best 25.1 points on 45.9% field goal shooting, 10.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists. He also made a career-high 218 3-pointers for the entire regular season, falling just 23 short of matching Evan Fournier’s franchise record of 241 3s.
Randle missed the final five games of the regular season due to a left ankle injury, which slowed him down in the playoffs. Despite his subpar shooting and up-and-down play in the playoffs, he managed to help the Knicks notch their first series win since 2013 before losing to eventual Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat in six games in the second round.
[Social] Media vs. Real Life Interaction With Fans
Randle also shared that there is a stark contrast about how Knicks fanbase projects or gets portrayed in the traditional and social media than in real life.
“I think that’s honestly the craziest thing because if you look at it from a media perspective, you’d be like, ‘Damn it’s hard being there.’ But…I go on walks all the time, around the city. I’m out, whatever it is, and it’s so much love bro,” Randle said on Paul George’s Podcast P show. “The actual fans, interaction, face-to-face, it’s crazy how much love it is, bro.
“We ain’t won s–t, bro. We got to the second round, bro. They’re so appreciative, bro. The interaction, face to face, it’s love. You look elsewhere [in the media, social media], you wouldn’t think it. But it’s cool.”
Knicks Fans’ Tough Love Made Julius Randle Better
While Randle admits the Knicks fans’ tough love can wear him down at times, it also made him a better person and player.
“Honestly, I love it, bro, because it’s made me the player I am today,” Randle said on Paul George’s Podcast P show. “It pushes me. It all depends on how you look at it. It can be tough for some people. And it’s been tough for me. It’s been tough for me, it’s been tough for my family. It’s hard; the hardest thing for me is my family, right? You know, the Garden is a different animal. The hardest thing for me is my family and my son. Both of my sons but [Kyden], in particular, because he’s older.”
“That’s the toughest thing but I love it man because it’s made me who I am today. It done taught me so much more about myself and as a player, figuring out what really matter and what don’t; it done taught me a lot about who I am as a human. I done grown so much. I done grown a lot. But that s—t age you though, bro. It’s like almost like you the president, you know? The president, they go in there and you see them and they look great when they first [get elected] and then four years later, they look old as hell (laughs). That’s how I feel right now (laughs),” he added.