Just a year ago, Randle was on top of the NBA world. He’d won second team all NBA as a forward and propelled the KNICKS into the **first round of the playoffs as a top seed** playing with a group of young players and defense-first Thibs vets. He’d developed his playmaking game, his face-up game, his handle, his step-back shooting, and even his finesse- it was downright pretty to watch him. He was also clutch as hell. Julius Randle, the King of New York.
A year from then, what do we have? “dUbiUos HaNdLes.” ‘Trade him for a bag of rocks.’ ‘Scrub.’
What exactly changed? Let me break this down a bit:
-He led the NBA in minutes in the 2021 season, playing 37.6 minutes per game. The following season, he plays over 35.
-He plays for THIBS, a coach notorious for wearing all his players down.
-Even before his breakout season, the man spent the whole damn summer in the gym. There were articles praising him about it after his season and playoff run. The usual ‘first man in and last man out’ crap.
-He probably did the same thing the summer before this past season.
Julius Randle gave his all for this team. He made massive strides, going from a ‘meh and semi-ridiculed’ free agent signing to a bonafide superstar. He’s been maybe the NBA’s foremost Ironman during that stretch.
Now, he’s an afterthought and being dangled in poorly disguised trade talks to anyone that moves.
Yes, Randle had an awful playoffs this last year. And I bet the reason why is that he ran into a WALL, working his body into exhaustion for a bunch of ungrateful fans and media with the memory of a goldfish.
As a New Yorker, I hope he’s traded to the Thunder for pennies on the dollar, rested for a full season as he deserves while the young guys develop, and then wins an MVP- the way he almost did A SINGLE YEAR AGO.