Julius Randle says energy in New York is unmatched compared to other career destinations

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read

Julius Randle has played in many legendary basketball locales, including for the Los Angeles Lakers, but the New York Knicks star said nothing compares to the energy of New York City and Madison Square Garden.

The 28-year-old is about to enter his fifth season with the Knicks after opening his NBA career with the Lakers following one season with college powerhouse University of Kentucky.

Though he has had an up-and-down relationship with New York fans at times, Randle was gushing about his current situation at a recent offseason event.

It is a sentiment shared by other stars around the NBA as well. Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell has raved about playing in New York, including this offseason after the Cavs were eliminated by the Knicks in the first round of the 2023 playoffs.

Randle got to experience the heights of college basketball in his one season at Kentucky. During the 2013-14 campaign under head coach John Calipari, the Wildcats reached the Final Four and lost the NCAA championship game to the University of Connecticut.

The former first-round pick (No. 7 overall) did not get to experience a playoff atmosphere with the Lakers, who won 21, 17, 26 and 35 games in his four seasons in Los Angeles, which came in the midst of a six-season postseason drought. He then played one season for the New Orleans Pelicans before signing with the Knicks as a free agent.

Randle is coming off his second All-Star season with the Knicks, with a career-high average of 25.1 points per game during the 2022-23 campaign. New York won a playoff series for the first time since 2013, but Randle averaged only 16.6 points per game in the playoffs.

Randle received some curious criticism from Kenyon Martin following that series loss based on his actions after Game 5 when he kissed his wife, who later joined the fray on social media.

If the Knicks can someday return to the NBA Finals with Randle as a key player, perhaps against the Lakers, he might have even greater things to say about the New York experience.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.