Julius Randle has been through some tough times in New York.

Since joining the Knicks, Randle has been the most loved and hated athlete in Madison Square Garden, including last season.

Randle signed with the Knicks as a free agent ahead of the 2019 season, and in 2020-21 he was named an All-Star for the first time and earned NBA Most Improved honors, warming the hearts of his fans.

Poor playoff performances put him on the line again, however, and after a contract extension, poorer play followed, drawing boos. Even last season, Randle returned to his All-Star form, but with a seemingly bad attitude at times and another bad postseason (it should be noted that he sprained the same ankle twice in less than a month), now he’s back to being true to the knicks. bad side.


Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks looks on during Game 5 of Round 2 of the 2023 NBA Semifinals against the Miami Heat on May 10, 2023 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York . (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Despite the up-and-down treatment, though, you wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

«The garden is a different animal,» Randle said. «The hardest thing for me is my family and my son… that’s the hardest, but I love it. It’s made me who I am today,» Randle said on the Paul George podcast. «He taught me a lot about myself and as a player… he taught me a lot about who I am as a person. I’ve grown a lot.»

«That shit will age you bro. It’s almost like you’re the president. You walk in there, you see them and they look cool at first. Then four years later they got the picture and they look old as hell. That’s how I feel at the moment «.

Even during the playoffs, fans were seen ripping off a Randle sign and stomping on it outside Madison Square Garden. But the two-time All-Star says he’s a very small minority of fans.

Julius Randle

Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks walks after being injured during the second quarter of a game against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on March 29, 2023 in New York City. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)


«You look at it from a media perspective, you’re like, ‘Damn, it’s hard to be there,'» Randle said. «But I go for walks all the time around town, and I go out, and it’s a lot of love. The fans, the interactions, face to face, it’s a lot of love. And we haven’t won s- –. We made it to the second round. But they’re so thankful… you look away, you wouldn’t think so, but it’s great.»

However, Randle admitted that some of the hate was his fault. During a game in 2021-22 in the midst of a slump, Randle, after making a basket, gave fans a thumbs down, essentially booing them in response to being booed.

«Don’t do the thumbs down. That didn’t work well for me,» he joked.

Julius Randle thumbs down

Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks gives a thumbs down to the fans after scoring against the Boston Celtics during their game at Madison Square Garden on January 6, 2022 in New York City. (Al Bello/Getty Images)


The Knicks lost in the second round to the Miami Heat in their second playoff appearance in the past three seasons, the furthest they’ve gone in 10 years. But Randle wants more.

«We’re not that far away, and that motivates me,» Randle said. «In my mind, I’m thinking, ‘How can I be the best version of myself to help the team win?'»