New York Knicks star Julius Randle apologized to fans Friday following his explanation that a thumbs-down to the faithful at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night meant “f— you.”
Randle made the gesture during the team’s 25-point comeback win against the Boston Celtics. He appeared to be over the booing from fans, and when they started cheering for him, he wasn’t having it, delivering a thumbs-down gesture. He explained what it meant later in the postgame press conference.
On Friday night, Randle appeared to be feeling some remorse over the way he expressed his frustration.
“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,” a statement on Randle’s Instagram page said.
“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.
“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. 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.
“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. I am going to keep focusing on the future.”
Randle is averaging 19.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game this season as the team sits in 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings with a 19-20 record.