technical foul relapse “selfish of me”

technical foul relapse “selfish of me”

After picking up 12 technical fouls last season to rank among the top 20 players in the NBA, Julius Randle says he made a friendly bet with someone in the Knicks organization that he would drop that number to three this year.

“So I already screwed it up,” Randle joked after practice Tuesday in Tarrytown.

After arguing he was fouled on a drive to the basket, Randle was redshirted for the third and fourth times this season for a third-quarter ejection in Sunday’s win over the Kings. That doubled the number of techs that had previously been evaluated through the Knicks’ first 26 games.

“I was fine until the last game, man. What the hell happened, right? I had a relapse,” Randle said, adding that he has “absolutely” tried not to argue with the refs as much this season . “I don’t want any beef or confrontations with officials. He could never do his job.

“Dealing with us as players, it’s as if he said he could never train. It’s a lot to deal with. I understand they can’t get every play right. You know me. I am a passionate gamer. I play with a lot of emotion, a lot of drive. So sometimes it gets the best of me. But it was a conscious thing going into the summer to try and limit that.”

Julius Randle reacts after being ejected against the Kings.
Robert Sabo

Tom Thibodeau had said after Sunday’s game that Randle’s coaching staff and teammates needed to remove him from the discussion after he was slapped with the first technical foul. The Knicks coach added after Tuesday’s practice that there needs to be “an awareness on everyone’s part” to avoid such encounters.

Randle, who scored his 27 points in the first half of the Knicks’ fourth straight win before games Wednesday and Friday in Chicago, admitted he should have “tried not to get the first one.”

“I can’t put my team in that situation,” Randle said. “I don’t want to talk about what happened, or whether it was right or wrong.

“In any case, I can’t put my teammates in this situation and that was selfish of me. I have to be better.”

Randle’s scoring has improved over the Knicks’ last seven games, averaging 27.1 points per appearance starting with a season-high 36 in Detroit on Nov. 29, his 28th birthday. Sunday’s game likely would have been his fourth outing of at least 30 points in that stretch had he not been ejected.

“Hopefully that last one will be overturned. But we’ll see. I’m really trying my best,” Randle said. “Sometimes my emotions get the best of me. But that’s just what comes with it.

Julius Randle leaves the court after being ejected against the Kings.
Robert Sabo

“I’m just trying to be more invested and in tune with what’s going on with our team. How can I help my guys? How can I make the best plays for my team? The next game mentality. So the more I focus in this, more outside distractions [don’t] become a thing”.

The 6-foot-8 power forward added that physically, “this is probably the best I’ve felt in a couple of years, probably since my last year with the Lakers” in 2017-18.

The Knicks’ defensive numbers have also improved during their winning streak, which has been helped by the increased roles of second-year guards Quentin Grimes and Miles McBride.

“I feel like we’re in a better flow, rhythm. The game is a lot easier when you’re not taking the ball out of the basket. Making stops and running the offense, that’s a good way to play,” Randle said. “[I’m] right at the moment, match by match, try to help the team. Do what’s best for the team. Help us achieve victories. Whatever I’m asked to do, whatever the play is at the moment on any side of the floor, just trying to make plays and help out as much as I can.”

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