‘I can’t be penalized for just being stronger than people’



Julius Randle arguing with refs white classic uniform

Julius Randle arguing with refs white classic uniform

If you watched KnicksNets on Tuesday night, you knew that Tom Thibodeau was upset with the refs. He was yelling at them from the sideline throughout the game.

A half hour after the final buzzer, Thibodeau was still angry.

“I wanna watch the film, but something’s not right,” Thibodeau said after the Nets took more than twice as many free throws (25) as the Knicks (12) in their 112-110 win.

“They had a big discrepancy in free throws. I can tell you that,” Thibodeau said. “Julius (Randle) is driving the ball, and he gets two free throws? And I don’t really care how the game is called. I really don’t. You can call it tight. You can call it loose. But it’s gotta be the same.”

Thibodeau referenced Randle several times in his brief remarks to the media after Tuesday’s game.

Randle took 22 shots against Brooklyn but shot just two free throws.

“(The Nets) played well. But I know Julius is driving that ball pretty darn hard, and I’m pissed,” Thibodeau said.

Randle shared his coach’s frustration. He said referees told him on Tuesday that they miss foul calls on his defenders because of his size/strength.

“They said certain contact doesn’t affect me like it affects other players because I’m stronger, they miss the calls,” Randle said, adding: “As aggressive as I play, attacking the paint, I can’t be penalized for just being stronger than people. And that’s the answer that I got today.”

When asked how he reacts to that explanation, Randle said, “It pisses me off even more, to be honest with you. Because that’s not how you officiate the game.”

The Nets won the game on their last possession when Kevin Durant drew two Knick defenders and found an open James Johnson. Johnson drew a foul on Mitchell Robinson and made two free throws to break a 110-110 tie.

Robinson made it clear that he disagreed with the call after the game.

New York fell to 10-9 with the loss. Those looking for positives from the defeat can look at Randle. With Alec Burks in the starting lineup in place of Kemba Walker, Randle seemed more comfortable and aggressive on offense. He also played with energy on the defensive end.

The 2021 All-Star finished with 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.


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