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Julius Randle ‘excited’ to see Obi Toppin flourish with new team

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New York Knicks v Indiana Pacers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

In his appearance on Paul George’s podcast this summer, Julius Randle revealed that, for the first time in his career, he got heavily into watching game film while laid up post-ankle surgery.

At the South Carolina practice facility today, Randle told the scrum that he also spent the summer watching Bruce Lee movies. (h/t SNYTV) He joked that Bruce’s lessons will help him to better deal with the media and be a better player. “Being able to adapt to certain situations. Go with the flow […]. Not reacting,” he said. “Bruce got a lot of hidden gems, he was ahead of his time.”

Be like water, grasshopper.

While crowded by mics, he also addressed the Obi Toppin trade that sent Randle’s backup to the Indiana Pacers for second-round draft picks in 2028 and 2029. “He was in a tough spot playing behind me,” said Randle. “He was more than a great teammate, I’m excited to see him flourish out there.”

New York selected Toppin eighth in the 2020 NBA Draft. He was picked to be an eventual replacement for Randle, who was coming off a lackluster first year in New York. The draft selection lit a fire under Julius, who went on to have a career year. After that, Toppin’s fate with the Knicks was doomed.

According to Pacers beat reporter Alex Golden, Toppin feels good about the change of scenery. He quoted Toppin as saying, “Tyrese Haliburton is the best passer in the game” and also that this season is going to be “Lob City!”

All told, Obi Toppin averaged seven points and three rebounds in 201 games for the Knicks. Enjoy this compilation of his dunks from the 2021-22 season.

Brooklyn’s own Toppin was a fan favorite and generous with the autographs. An electric dunk by Toppin would send the Garden into frothy hysterics and shake the foundation. After the Knicks lost to Miami in the most recent playoffs, fans stomped on a poster of Julius Randle outside the stadium. Quite a contrast.

Here are Obi’s jams from the 2022 Slam Dunk competition that he won:

Finally, here’s that cheeky Obi goofing with new teammate Haliburton at Indiana’s media day.

I’ll miss those Obi highlights. Circle the dates on your calendar: Indiana visits the Garden on February 1 and 10.