Kevin Garnett Defends Knicks' Julius Randle

Kevin Garnett offered an impassioned rant in defense of New York Knicks star Julius Randle.
Jan 23, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 23, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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KG is feeling pretty high on the New York Knicks' JR.

Former divisional rival and NBA star Kevin Garnett offered an impassioned defense of the embattled three-time All-Star Julius Randle on Stephen A. Smith's web series, arguing that Leon Rose and Co. don't have to search for high-priced Jalen Brunson accompaniment because they already have it in No. 30.

When Smith tried to claim that Randle was not a "No. 1 guy," Garnett declared that the ESPN personality was "tripping."

Jan 25, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) controls the ball against Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon (50) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 25, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) controls the ball against Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon (50) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

"What is Randle? Man, Julius Randle is a 25 and 10 guy," Garnett said. "He grew his game with the three-ball. Man, y'all tripping on Julius Randle. Julius Randle is one of the harder guard in this (league). (He's) left-handed, he's got a three-ball, he can playmake. I mean, he ain't perfect, but man, being with this team?"

Though Brunson has probably taken over the title, Randle was the face of 2020s Knicks basketball, having recently wrapped his fifth season in Manhattan. Randle has bloomed into a dynamic talent over the past half-decade, averaging 22.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 4.7 assists for the Knicks in that span.

Randle got off to a slow start this time around but rendered it long forgotten with final averages of 24 points and 9.2 rebounds. Injuries ended his season early in January but he was nonetheless invited to the All-Star Game for the third time in the last four years. This season could prove to be a fateful landmark in his career, as the 29-year-old is due for a massive nine-figure extension.

Apr 23, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Boston Celtics center Kevin Garnett (5) controls the ball against the New York Knicks during the third quarter of game two of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 23, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Boston Celtics center Kevin Garnett (5) controls the ball against the New York Knicks during the third quarter of game two of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

If it's up to Garnett, the Knicks would abandon their seemingly endless search for a superstar and instead do its utmost to keep the Brunson-Randle tandem toiling.

"You know what happens when you bring in a superstar, you bring somebody else? You've got to intertwine him into the fabric of what the Knicks are," Garnett explained. "The Knicks are gritty and cruddy, they play for 48 (minutes). They're (head coach Tom Thibodeau)!"

"The Knicks are perfect. The Knicks should not be touched. Let's run this two years with this and then talk about that superstar (stuff) later."

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Geoff Magliocchetti

GEOFF MAGLIOCCHETTI

Editor-In-Chief at All Knicks