Julius Randle Shades 'Front-Runner' Jae Crowder After Trash Talk in Knicks vs. Suns

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 8, 2021

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) stands near center Nerlens Noel (3) and guard RJ Barrett (9) and Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker and center Deandre Ayton (22) after getting called for a technical foul by referee Kevin Cutler during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, May 7, 2021, in Phoenix. Phoenix won 128-105. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

Jae Crowder and Julius Randle got into a scuffle toward the end of Phoenix's 128-105 win over the Knicks on Friday, with Randle receiving a technical foul for throwing Crowder to the ground.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Randle unloaded on Crowder and said he only talks trash when his team is ahead. 

"He's just a front-runner. He didn't say a word in the first half," Randle said. "They were down and they tied the game up and he got a stop on me and wanted to say something. That's just who he is. Everybody in the league knows it. But I'm not worried about him."

The Suns outscored the Knicks by 30 points in the second half after trailing by seven at halftime. Crowder finished with 18 points off the bench, while Randle put up 24 points and 11 rebounds in the Knicks' second straight loss.

This is the second time in as many seasons Crowder has gotten into it with a Knicks player. Former Knicks forward Marcus Morris called Crowder "soft" for front-running when the then-Grizzlies forward stole a ball and shot a three late in a New York loss last January. 

While Crowder did not comment on his altercation with Randle after the game, Chris Paul credited him as the biggest reason for the Suns' victory.

"It's my first year playing with Jae Crowder, and he's one of my favorite teammates I ever played with," Paul told reporters