Between his incredibly disappointing on-court performance, the Knicks underachieving all season long, and the infamous thumbs-down incident at the Garden, it would be an understatement to say that the 2021-22 season was not a good one for Julius Randle. It wasn’t a surprise, then, to see Randle go dark on social media and stay quiet after his season ended early in April. While fans may have wanted to see what the forward was up to during the summer, he most likely wanted to mentally reset after perhaps the most turbulent season of his career.
But his multi-month social media hiatus came to a sudden end last week when he deleted all of his prior posts on Instagram and posted a few pictures of himself during a workout with the caption, “Back at it!” Now, we don’t want to read too much into any social media actions. Fans and reporters have long tried to decipher social media posts or the deletion of posts in the past when they can often mean nothing at all. But it’s also hard to completely ignore Randle’s off-season social media blitz following his long hiatus. Hopefully this means Randle is back in the lab and putting in the work to make sure he’s able to do whatever it takes to get the Knicks back in the playoffs. More importantly, fans are hoping that this is a sign that he is mentally ready to put last year behind him. The Knicks need a Randle that is ready to lead, on and off the court, and is back to being focused and motivated.
Julius Randle with a message to Knicks fans…. pic.twitter.com/m1yfDRYQlV— Big Knick Energy (@BigKnickEnergy_) September 9, 2022
Since then, he’s posted on Instagram twice. The first was a video of his trip to Nassau, Bahamas with an intro that shows Randle running sprints at an empty gym at 8:00AM. The second was a post dedicated to the first responders in commemoration of September, 11th that sees him spending time at a New York City fire department with a few of his teammates. He’s also posted stories and reels highlighting the work he has been putting in. Again, we have to take social media posts with a grain of salt since they are often just highlights of what the user wants the public to see. But there is hope that Randle is as driven as ever and is ready to prove the doubters and the fans that he can return to form. With that being said, at the end of the day, none of these posts will matter if Randle cannot be the player the team needs him to be. With his salary being what it is, fans will expect a lot from him and ultimately, his play, attitude, and energy will be what fans will judge him and his season on.
One thing that can’t get lost in all of this, though, are the fans’ comments on these posts. While many fans were and still are angry at Randle’s play and attitude from last season, there was a surprising number of fans offering supportive and positive comments on Randle’s posts. Many fans made sure Randle knew that they were rooting for him and believed that he could return to his 20-21 self. He even replied to one fan’s comment, which said, “Knicks fans believe in you!”, with an, “I got y’all !!”. Here’s to hoping that he’s right.