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Knicks’ Julius Randle fined by NBA for ‘directing hostile language at a referee’ during Sunday’s loss to Jazz

Julius Randle has been very charitable with his anger.

The Knicks forward was fined yet again Tuesday for “directing hostile language at a referee,” according the NBA, which docked Randle $40,000.

It was the fourth time the hot-tempered Randle was punished this season by the league, with fines totaling $130,000. The Knicks were fined $25,000 separately in January because Randle didn’t want to talk to the media.

Fines levied by the NBA are donated to anonymous charities.

The latest incident was bizarre. Randle, clearly frustrated at the end of a miserable performance in Sunday’s loss to the Jazz, shoved opposing center Rudy Gobert and left the court in a rage.

Strutting on his way out, Randle, who missed 15 of his 22 shots, gestured angrily at a referee as a security guard tried to usher him away. Randle’s miserable season has been defined not only by his faltering jumper (30.7% on 3-pointers), but also by his open hostility towards the opponent, the fans and the referees.

“You don’t want to repeat the same mistakes over and over,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “And I don’t want frustration to get in the way of – you’re human, there’s emotions involved in it. But we have to make sure we’re controlling our emotions.”

Perhaps related, Randle sat Tuesday’s game against the Hawks. He was officially ruled out with a sore right quad, which coach Tom Thibodeau called a pain “that’s been there and hasn’t gone away. . . So we’re trying to clear that up.”

It set up Obi Toppin with a rare opportunity. Toppin, 24, the NBA’s Slam Dunk champion, started Tuesday at power forward and scored 10 points in 24 minutes with five fouls.

Thibodeau pulled Toppin in the fourth quarter because the coach still doesn’t trust his defense in pick-and-rolls, although Trae Young still torched the Knicks down the stretch.

Toppin’s lowlight was getting stuffed at the rim in the second quarter by Hawks center Clint Capela, who taunted Toppin with a finger wag. Toppin said he confronted Capela at halftime about the gesture

“I talked to him at, like, halftime about that. I was like, ‘Don’t do that again,’” Toppin said. “He said, ‘My bad.’”

Randle has been extremely durable with the Knicks and entered Wednesday ranked 15th in the league in total minutes played. He led the NBA last season.

Toppin, meanwhile, hadn’t logged more than 20 minutes in a game since January. He started twice earlier in the season when Randle was out with COVID-19, but the Knicks were blown out by the Thunder and Raptors.

They’re now 0-3 without Randle.

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Source: Berkshire mont

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