Julius Randle, Tom Thibodeau Discuss Knicks PF Being Restrained from Ref Foster

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2021

New York Knicks' Julius Randle (30) is restrained by teammates after an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Monday, March 15, 2021, in New York. The Nets won 117-112. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

New York Knicks All-Star forward Julius Randle explained himself Monday after having to be restrained from referee Scott Foster following the Knicks' 117-112 loss to the Brooklyn Nets

Randle was furious after being called for traveling in the closing seconds of the game with New York down three, which gave the ball to Brooklyn and allowed it to close things out:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Randle was heated after being called for the travel to end the game 😳 https://t.co/azDJ8BLgoy

When asked to explain why he was so heated after the game and needed to be held back, Randle said the following, per Marc Berman of the New York Post: "It was a conversation—it's best I don't comment on the situation. There was a lot of frustration behind it for both sides. I'll let it be in the past and move onto the next game."

The Knicks trailed by as many as 18 points in the game before roaring all the way back and having a chance to tie it late. That chance went up in smoke when Randle was called for traveling after going up for a shot and landing back on his feet with the ball in his hands.

Nets guard Kyrie Irving swiped at the ball, but Foster determined that the swipe wasn't enough for Randle to lose possession, which is why the call was made.

With regard to Randle's reaction to the call, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau said: "It's an emotional game. He calmed down right away. It was a hard-fought game for both teams. Sometimes it goes your way with whistles, sometimes it doesn't. I thought Julius played a terrific game. He played the 5, was switching. It didn't go our way at the end."

Likely adding to Randle's frustration was the fact that he played such a big role in New York nearly coming back to beat the Nets. His 33 points were his second-highest scoring total of the season, plus he added 12 rebounds, six assists and three steals.

In his second season with the Knicks, Randle has developed into one of the best and most-versatile power forwards in the NBA.

Randle is averaging 23.1 points, 11.0 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game this season, all of which are career highs.

He has blossomed in his first season under Thibodeau and is one of the biggest reasons why the Knicks currently occupy a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference at 20-20.

Little was expected this season out of a Knicks team that hasn't reached the playoffs since the 2012-13 season, but expectations have since been adjusted, which is likely another reason why Randle was so disappointed about following just short against a Nets team that is second in the Eastern Conference.