Julius Randle gives Knicks fans thumbs down: ‘Shut the f–k up’

Julius Randle knows how to overshadow a great win. 

Randle went on a rampage in the third quarter Thursday to spur the Knicks’ comeback from 25 points down in a 108-105 win over the Celtics at the Garden, but he was caught on camera executing an unfortunate thumbs-down gesture at the fans — a move the Mets made infamously. 

One day after profanely saying he doesn’t care what others think about his season, Randle, after a poor first half, came on strong in the second half, and played frenetically during a 10-point third quarter, finishing the night with 22 points. 

But after one beastly driving layup, he ran back downcourt and made a thumbs-down gesture. 

Randle didn’t deny it afterward and continued his profanity. When asked what it was for, Randle said, “To shut the f–k up.’’ 

When asked if it was in response to something, Randle said, “You saw that. You saw what was going on with that. Forget. Forget.’’ 

Julius Randle had a message for Knicks fans during the team’s win over the Celtics.
USA Today Sports

The fans had booed in the second quarter when the Knicks fell way behind. 

Last season, Mets players — notably Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor and Kevin Pillar — were reprimanded by owner Steve Cohen for directing a thumbs-down gesture at Citi Field fans. 

Javier Baez
Javier Baez gave Mets fans a thumbs-down during the 2021 season.
Getty Images

When asked Wednesday whether he was unappreciated and taking too much heat for the team’s uneven season, Randle responded: “Really don’t give a f–k what anybody has to say, to be honest. I’m out there playing. Nobody knows the game out there better than I do, compared to what everybody has to say.’’ 

After Thursday’s win, Evan Fournier was told about the gesture and asked if Randle was frustrated. 

“Julius is an emotional guy because he puts so much into it,’’ said Fournier, who scored a career-high 41 points in the win. “He probably wasn’t happy about [the boos]. When you give everything you have to something and it doesn’t work out, it’s the business we’re in. 

“Julius, he’s the face of the franchise, the star player. Of course you’re going to get more criticism. I think he understands it. In his first year, he was being booed consistently, then had an incredible season last year. So he showed lot of mental toughness. I’m not worried about him.’’ 

RJ Barrett, who hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer, said of Randle’s frustration: “He plays basketball. What’d he have, another 20-point game tonight? He’s playing, man. He’s hooping no matter what. All we can control is what we do, us in the locker room, us in this organization, just play together and try to win.’’

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