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Julius Randle surprised NBA fined him for throwing ball into stands

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle reacts after

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle reacts after he dunked against the Boston Celtics during the second half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

ORLANDO — Julius Randle was exhausted when the Knicks' opener finally came to an end after two overtimes Wednesday night. In a moment of celebration and relief after grabbing the rebound that clinched a 138-134 win over the Celtics at Madison Square Garden, he flung the ball underhanded nearly the length of the court and into the stands.

The NBA responded Thursday by announcing he was fined $15,000 for throwing a game ball into the stands.

Randle said he is unsure if he will contest the fine. "I was surprised," he said Friday morning. "We’ll see what happens. I didn’t know it was a thing, but it’s fine."

Randle said there was no intention or anger, just a final exhale.

"That’s really all it was — more celebrating," he said. "I didn’t toss it anywhere or in any direction or trying to do anything. It was emotions, excitement from the first game, and I was happy it was over with. It was two overtimes. Everybody was exhausted."

Hometown kid

Cole Anthony is in the starting lineup for Orlando and he said it was something special to face the Knicks, the team he watched as a child when his father, Greg Anthony, played for them. But his earliest memory of Madison Square Garden wasn’t any of his father’s on-court heroics, but instead of the father and son sitting together at a game.

"I think I was 7 years old," Anthony said. "Me and my dad were sitting courtside and the Knicks were playing. They were about to go on a run, and I remember being on the sideline and I got mad hyped. I was hyped on the sidelines. I think I knocked a drink onto the floor and stopped the game. And then they lost the game and I think they ended up blaming the loss on me and my dad."

Asked if fans really blamed him, too, he said, "Shoot, I was in the newspaper so, yeah, I think so. My parents did a good job of shielding me from that but yeah, they was at my head."

Hometown kid, Part II

Playing high school ball in New York, Anthony said he had a connection with the Knicks’ Kemba Walker.

"I talked to Kemba a little bit before I was drafted," Anthony said. "I kind of wanted to pick his brain. We’re both from New York. I just kind of wanted to see what it takes to be successful. I’d say he’s done really, really well for himself, so I just wanted to pick his brain and get a little bit of knowledge from him."

Still sidelined

The Knicks were without Taj Gibson (personal reasons) and Nerlens Noel (left knee soreness) for the second straight game. Gibson missed the opener because of the birth of his child.

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