NEW YORK – The Knicks’ Julius Randle and coach Tom Thibodeau walked off the Barclays Center floor Tuesday night to talk to each other and “piss” on the offseason during their 112-110 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
Randle had 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, but only went to the line twice the entire game. The Knicks star initially refused to talk about the officer until he was asked if he was surprised he did not get the benefit of calls normally reserved for a team star.
“Should they ask,” Randle said of the officer crew of Scott Foster, Mark Lindsay and Jason Goldenberg. “I do not know what they see or what they see. As aggressive as I played, attacking the paint, I can not be punished for just being stronger than people. And that is an answer I got today.”
The 6-foot-8 and 250-pound Randle said the crew told him his structure and strength are why he is no longer getting calls.
“They said because certain contact does not affect me as much as it affects other players,” Randle said. “Because I’m stronger, they miss the calls.”
“It makes me even more angry,” Randle said when asked what his reaction was when he heard that. “To be honest with you, because that’s not how you officer the game.”
While Randle was calm when he spoke to reporters after the game, Thibodeau was as visibly overwhelmed and frustrated as he was. The Knicks coach mentioned how the Nets went to the free-throw line 25 times compared to the Knicks’ 12 trips.
But what really set Thibodeau apart was how Randle became officiated.
“I want to see the movie, but … there’s something wrong,” Thibodeau said. “I do not know [why], I do not know. I see what is happening on both sides. [The Nets] are a good team. They played well. But I know Julius drives that ball pretty hard.
“And I’m pissed.”
Randle was awarded a fourth offense with 1:36 left in the game after he thought he had been fouled on a missed shot with the game tied at 105-all. Kevin Durant (27 points) then hit an 18-footer and then sank the tech free throw of the tech called on Randle.
Knicks teammates ran over to calm Randle down during a timeout.
“You saw what happened,” Randle said when asked about the technical error. “Everyone saw what happened. I do not need to talk about it. You all saw what happened.”
Randle said several times that he did not want the focus to be on the officers. But he does describe what it’s like for him at times when smaller defenders try to protect him.
“In basketball, usually when smaller players protect the bigger players, they come away with a lot more,” Randle said. “But certain things are a bit blatant. If you hit a guy, I do not care who it is, it will affect him. Like I said, I do not want to talk about it. I want to focus on continuing to “blocking that out, playing hard, playing with energy and leading my team. I can not let my technique influence me to be effective when we win or lose.”
The Knicks tied the game at 110-all with 17.7 seconds left, but James Johnson was fouled on a ride with 2.2 seconds left. Johnson hit both free throws to help hold the Nets down after blowing up a 16-point lead.
James Harden led the Nets with 34 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, while making 9 of 10 shots from the free-throw line.
“I want to watch the movie, but … there’s a big discrepancy in free throws, I can tell you that,” Thibodeau said. “So Julius drives the ball, and he gets two free throws?
“I do not really care about what the game is called. I really do not. You can call it tight. You can call it loose. But it has to be the same.”