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Knicks fined, Lakers next?

Julius Randle in New Orleans Pelicans v New York Knicks

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 20: Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on January 20, 2022 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA – and even Julius Randle himself – thought the Knicks forward said too much when he told New York fans to shut the f*** up with a thumbs down.

But saying nothing after scoring four points on 1-of-9 shooting in a loss to the Pelicans?

The league deemed that unacceptable, too.

NBA release:

The New York Knicks organization has been fined $25,000 for violating league rules governing media interview access, the NBA announced today. The fine results from the Knicks’ refusal to make Julius Randle available to the media following last night’s game vs. the New Orleans Pelicans.

The way the league has cracked down on players swearing during interviews, a fine might have been coming either way. At least this way, it’s incurred by the organization, not Randle. This doesn’t really incentivize him to do an interview after the next game. Between NBA starters and team media-relations officials, we know who holds the power.

I wonder whether the Lakers will get the same fine.

Russell Westbrook didn’t speak to reporters after getting benched in Los Angeles’ loss to the Pacers on Wednesday.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Westbrook was unhappy with characterizations that he stormed out of the Arena locker room without meeting with reporters in a postgame news conference. Both Westbrook and team officials said on Thursday that the organization requested that he skip the interview session.

Randle went seven straight games without speaking to the media, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. So, perhaps this was an accumulation penalty that won’t apply to the Lakers. But the NBA’s announcement cited only Randle not being made available last night.