New York Knicks star big man Julius Randle revealed his thumbs down gesture to the Knicks fans was his way of telling them to "shut the f--- up." After scoring a layup midway through the fourth quarter of a 108-105 win over the Boston Celtics and gave the Knicks crowd a thumbs down.
After the match, Randle was asked what message he was trying to get across. "Shut the f--- up," Randle said. Randle was asked about the negativitiy that has been surrounding his play this season. "I really don't give a f--- what anybody has to say, to be honest," Randle said.
"I'm out there playing. Nobody knows the game out there better than I do, compared to what everybody has to say. "So I really don't give a s---. I just go out there and play." "I don't know," Randle said.
"It was special for our team. But we kept battling. Obviously don't want to get in a hole, but us as a team, we kept battling, stay with it and found a way to win the game."
Evan Fournier defends Randle
"He puts emotion into everything he does," said Evan Fournier, who poured in a career-high 41 points against his former team and admitted he didn't see the gestures Randle made toward the crowd.
"He probably wasn't happy about [the booing]. Honestly, no big deal. If I were him, playing hard as hell and [playing] well ... when you give everything you have into something and you give so much into something and it doesn't work out or you're being called out, it's frustrating.
"But it's the business we're in. And Julius is the image of the franchise. He's the star player, so of course he's going to get more criticism. And I think he understands that." The Celtics blew a 25-point lead against the Knicks and Celtics head coach Ime Udoka called out his team for the lack of mental toughness.
"I think it's a lack of mental toughness to fight through those adverse times," Udoka said after forward RJ Barrett's banked-in 3-pointer at the buzzer completed a 25-point Knicks comeback to stun the Celtics.
"To your point, it's across the board. It's a turnover here, a bad shot here, a missed defensive assignment here, and several missed rebounds tonight. "So it's a lot of different things. And then, like I said, a calming presence to slow it down and get us what we want is really what you need at that point. And sometimes we all get caught up in it."