Knicks' Julius Randle explains thumbs down, follow-up comments: 'Sometimes you say things you regret to people you love'

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  • Julius Randle
    Julius Randle
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Julius Randle thumbs down not looking towards camera white uniform
Julius Randle thumbs down not looking towards camera white uniform

Julius Randle made headlines on Thursday night, giving a thumbs down to the Madison Square Garden crowd and explaining afterwards that he was telling the fans to "Shut the f--k up.”

On Friday, Randle issued a statement via his Instagram page, explaining his words and actions.

“Just want to send a quick message to our fans and be clear -- I love NYC and being a part of this team and this franchise. And like most Knicks fans, I am really passionate about us being successful,” Randle wrote.

“My family and I love how the fans and New Yorkers have embraced and accepted us and have made us feel great about our decision to commit long-term with the team this past summer. This support means the world to us.”

The veteran forward took ownership of what he did, saying he understands it reflected poorly on his team and the NBA, and he also explained that his words came from a place of passion.

“I understand that my actions also represent the league, this organization, and the city, and that I should have handled things last night differently and expressed myself with more professionalism and more appropriate language in the heat of the moment,” Randle wrote. “My comment was an example of how sometimes you say things you regret to people you love, even if it came from a place of passion and deep love.”

After struggling in the first half, as most of his teammates did, Randle ended up with 22 points and eight rebounds in Friday’s remarkable 108-105 win over the Boston Celtics. After banking in a contested shot with five-and-a-half minutes to go in the game, Randle gave a thumbs down to the crowd, who had been booing the team in the first half.

But the All-Star explained on Friday that he has nothing but love for Knicks fans.

“Nobody wants to win more than me and I will continue to show loyalty and dedication to my teammates, the entire Knicks organization, and the fans who have shown me and my family so much love,” he wrote. “I am going to keep focusing on the future. Thank you – Go Knicks”