No team has underwhelmed more this season than the New York Knicks, and a lot of that stems from their leader and top player, reigning Most Improved Player and All-Star forward Julius Randle.
In his third season with the club, he’s averaging 19.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 5.2 rebounds, and a career-worst 3.5 turnovers while shooting a putrid 42/30/76 line.
The disappointment surrounding his 2021-2022 campaign has been compared to the Los Angeles Lakers‘ failed Russell Westbrook experiment this year.
The two were tied further together on Monday by their wives, with Kendra Randle responding to Nina Westbrook’s comments about death threats she’s received.
And Madison Square Garden’s faithful, the New York Knicks fanbase took a hit in the process.
Kendra Challenges Fans
Things got started on Monday afternoon with Nina Westbrook going on a Twitter rant on the criticism she and her husband have received this season from fans.
Creator of Knicks Fan TV, ‘CP, the Fanchise,’ responded to her comments in agreement, where the ties to New York Knicks fans would initially come to a head:
Kendra Randle didn’t care for his comments, responding to his sentiments with aggression and frustration:
Julius Randle’s wife finished off her flurry of tweets with an endorsement of one fan (possibly the only fan) that agreed with her disdain for CP:
She retweeted the above tweet from @ThaRealDBreezy before seemingly logging off for the day.
The gap between the New York Knicks forward and the fanbase has never been wider. On Monday, his wife Kendra played a direct role in that.
After a storied second season with the team, it’d be surprising to see Julius Randle get an opportunity to play a fourth.
Leaks are surfacing from within the organization about his poor approach to the season, and the concerns surrounding that, from prior to the 2021-2022 start.
It might only be a matter of time…
Randle’s ‘Overall Psyche’ a Concern
In his latest reporting for the New York Post, Marc Berman relayed the concerned sentiments surrounding Julius Randle:
Randle’s overall psyche is of concern inside the Knicks organization, according to an NBA source.
But it goes further than that–with his physical fitness at the start of training camp also in question:
The source said Randle didn’t come into training camp in the same type of sensational shape as he did last season, before Thibodeau’s first year guiding the Knicks. Perhaps that prevented him from being the type of two-way player — giving energy on both sides of the ball — that he was during his second team All-NBA season.
Randle’s drop-off this season is increasingly hard to explain unless you’re simply going to chalk up his 20202-2021 campaign as a one-hit-wonder.
But his body language alone seems a controllable development.
Randle’s been at war with the fans, the coaching staff, and the league’s officials since the start of this season.
He’s gone from giving the fans of Madison Square Garden a thumbs down in response to boos, to publicly criticizing referees, to outright avoiding the media.
It’s been that kind of season for Julius Randle and the New York Knicks.
And barring anything unexpected, this is setting up to be their last.