Julius Randle Says His Thumbs Down to Knicks Fans Meant 'Shut the F--k Up'

Doric SamJanuary 7, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 06:  Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks celebrates a basket against the Boston Celtics during their game at Madison Square Garden on January 06, 2022 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

It seems like the New York Knicks are taking a page out of the Mets' notebook.

After the Knicks' epic 108-105 comeback victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday, power forward Julius Randle was asked about a "thumbs down" gesture he made seemingly toward the home crowd at Madison Square Garden.

Randle explained that he was indicating "shut the f--k up," though he didn't specify what led him to making the gesture:

Fred Katz @FredKatz

Full exchange:<a href="https://twitter.com/SBondyNYDN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SBondyNYDN</a>: “Cameras caught you giving thumbs down to the crowd. What was that about?”<br><br>Randle: “Shut the fuck up”<br><br>“To whom?”<br><br>“What you talking about? To who? He just said to who”<br><br>It in response to something?<br><br>“You saw that. You saw what was going on w/ that"

The Knicks had been trailing by 25 points earlier in the game, which understandably elicited boos from the home crowd. The fans' dissatisfaction with a subpar first-half performance apparently didn't sit right with Randle all the way until the fourth quarter, when the gesture was made.

Former Mets shortstop Javy Baez famously gave a "thumbs down" gesture to fans at Citi Field and then told reporters it was his way of booing them back for voicing their displeasure with the team's struggles.

Despite the apparent contentious relationship between players and fans, the Knicks and their home crowd had much to celebrate after Thursday night's comeback victory.