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Knicks' Julius Randle Says He's Not Getting Calls Because He's Too Strong

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 1, 2021

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) talks referee during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)
AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.

Julius Randle is apparently too strong for his own good.

Following his team's 112-110 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, the New York Knicks star said he was told he didn't draw more fouls in part because of his ability to play through contact:

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Julius Randle said he got this explanation from a referee tonight for missed calls on fouls and it "pisses [him] off even more"<br><br>"They said because certain contact doesn't affect me, like it affects other players because I'm stronger, they miss the calls" <a href="https://t.co/uwgqHP0pBQ">pic.twitter.com/uwgqHP0pBQ</a>

Randle attempted two free throws, making both, in the defeat. That's a somewhat low number considering he took seven shots within two feet of the basket, per NBA.com.

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Jules. Will. Not. Be. Denied. <a href="https://t.co/FjP35Wf2Wi">pic.twitter.com/FjP35Wf2Wi</a>

The 6'8", 250-pound forward's complaint isn't all that common for players who either match his physical profile or demonstrate a similar ability to be undisturbed as they attack the basket.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James said in February 2018 the game was "at a point now where we protect the shooter more than the driver." New Orleans Pelicans executive David Griffin drew a $50,000 fine when he complained in May that Pelicans star Zion Williamson "has absolutely been mauled in the paint on a regular basis" without drawing an appropriate number of fouls.

To some extent, one can see the referee's perspective because it's easier to blow the whistle when it's obviously clear a player has his shot altered inside or path to the basket impeded. Randle, for example, got a call when he was bumped by Nets star Kevin Durant in the second quarter.

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GROWN MAN MOVE.<br><br>πŸ’ͺ🏿 <a href="https://twitter.com/J30_RANDLE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@J30_RANDLE</a> <a href="https://t.co/lj6LBzGRCw">pic.twitter.com/lj6LBzGRCw</a>

And when a player is bigger and stronger than his opponent, detecting the contact can be a little trickier if he ultimately gets the bucket anyway.

But Randle's frustration is understandable because a foul is a foul regardless of the outcome and any physical disparity between the offender and the victim. The Knicks forward shouldn't, in effect, be penalized.

As is often the case when a player or coach criticizes the referees from given game, Randle may have been laying down a marker for how he wants to be officiated going forward.