A group of New York Knicks fans frustrated after their season-ending loss to the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals took out their angst on Julius Randle, defacing and stomping on his poster outside of Madison Square Garden on Friday night. The incident occurred as fans were leaving MSG's watch party for Game 6 in which Randle did not perform well.
Randle, a two-time All-Star and an All-NBA Third Team selection this past season, scored just 15 points on 3-for-14 shooting, a stat line that included a paltry 1 of 7 from 3-point range. The lack of production from Randle and several of the Knicks' other stars doomed them to a 96-92 loss to end their playoff run despite the heroics and individual brilliance of Jalen Brunson, who scored 41 points to force a close game.
After the game, a group of fans were seen at Madison Square Garden stomping on a poster of Randle that had already been defaced with the words "Trade me!" accompanied by a smiley face with its tongue sticking out.
Randle, who signed a four-year, $117 million deal to join the Knicks in 2019, has had a complicated relationship with the demanding New York market. In 2022, Randle responded to boos by Knicks fans by giving a thumbs down gesture after rallying a 25-point comeback to victory, a gesture that he later said was one to "shut the f--k up".
Fan frustration with Randle over the Knicks' exit from the playoffs did not come out of nowhere, as the team's All-Star disappointed despite the Knicks as a whole having their best postseason run in a full decade. In two rounds of playoff basketball, Randle averaged only 16.6 points and 8.3 rebounds on 37.4 percent shooting.