“He Has Totally Got My Respect”: Shaquille O’Neal Amazed by Julius Randle’s Season

Published 05/12/2021, 4:30 PM EDT


The New York Knicks are comfortably sitting in 6th place. Julius Randle and Co. are taking the Knicks to the Playoffs, since 2013. The power forward is on a roll as he continues to silence his doubters this season.

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Along with RJ Barret and Derrick Rose, the former Los Angeles Lakers star has come of age while he continues to tap into his potential. The Knicks have kept faith in him as their franchise player while he produces outstanding performances on the court.

Shaquille O’Neal jumped on the bandwagon and waxed lyrical about Randle after his performance against the Lakers.

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Apr 12, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) is double teamed against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Shaquille O’Neal’s take on Julius Randle

Significantly, the ‘Big Shamrock’ complimented Julius Randle after his game against the Lakers. Randle scored 31 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists against his former franchise. O’Neal had appreciative words for him after the game.

“And I am happy for Julius Randle. He is playing with confidence. He is playing great basketball. And from one great big man to another, looking really good. Proud of him.

“He has totally got my respect. He already had my respect. And I like the way he took over and demanded the ball like, some people, some people act like stars and some people wanna be a star.

“So my thing is if you wanna be a star show me you wanna be a star and he showed it to me tonight,” said Shaq.

Knicks have a 38-31 record this season. In the meantime, they have performed above their expectations with the power forward leading the way.

How far will the Knicks go in Playoffs?

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The Knicks have been an inconsistent team in the league for the past decade. They have lost a lot of key players while depending on the draft picks to assemble a mighty squad.

However, they have seemingly conjured a team to their needs, at last, looking adequate this season. In the meantime, Randle has averaged a career-best of 24 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game this season.

Apr 21, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) shoots the ball against the Atlanta Hawks in overtime at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Having an effective field goal percentage of 52%, his mid-range shooting has been effective on the court. In conclusion, Randle is key to their success as the Knicks look to ensure a deep run in the Playoffs.

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Jacob Gijy

390 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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