Knicks’ Julius Randle apologizes to fans after giving MSG crowd a thumbs-up against the Celtics

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New York Knicks forward Julius Randle apologized for his fiery explosion and post-game comments during Thursday’s home game against the Boston Celtics. The Kentucky product gave fans a thumbs-down gesture during the fourth quarter and after the game he said he wanted it to mean “shut up.”

The drama began in the fourth quarter, when Randle converted a layup and, as he ran back into the field, pointed his thumbs up at the Madison Square Garden crowd. Randle was booed in the first half of the game, a possible 108-105 comeback victory over the Celtics.

Randle then confirmed the gesture was a response to being booed, according to ESPN, saying “You saw that. You saw what was going on there.”

Randle apologized to Knicks fans on Instagram on Friday. He said his actions were more than himself and that he should have behaved “with more professionalism”.

“I should have handled things differently last night and spoke more professionally and with more appropriate language in the heat of the moment,” Randle wrote. “My comment was an example of how sometimes you say things you regret to people you love, even if it comes from a place of deep passion and love.

“No one wants to win more than me and I will continue to show loyalty and dedication to my teammates, the entire Knicks organization and the fans who have shown me and my family so much love,” said Randle continued. “I will continue to focus on the future.”

Randle isn’t the first New York athlete to be praised by fans. Last summer, former New York Mets shortstop Javier Baez greeted the audience at Citi Field as he rounded the goal after a home run. Baez said it was a response to the way Mets fans treated him and his teammates during the 2021 campaign.

Fans finally returned home happy Thursday as the Knicks were able to erase a 25-point deficit against the Celtics. Boston star Jayson Tatum connected on an equalizer with 1.5 seconds left in settlement. Knicks forward RJ Barrett then made a crazy three to the buzzer to bring New York to victory.

Randle’s criticism is potentially due to his numbers dropping this season. Last season, Randle shot 41.1% of three, but only shoots 32.4% from beyond the arc so far this season.

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