For Julius Randle this past offseason was largely different compared to others. The New York Knicks finished the 2019-2020 on March 11, 2020 and haven’t played an NBA game since. It more than nine months until Randle was able to step on the court for an official game.
Having so much time without basketball, especially when other teams were playing in the Orlando bubble made the 26-year-old forward mad. The most difficult thing for him was to see others playing while he was housebound. It was pretty obvious for his trainer Tyler Relph that Randle was aching for games.
He used that energy to work hard on his game and the results are visible early in the season. Randle is averaging 23.1 points, 12 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game – the best numbers in his NBA career.
“Him not being able to play while all those other guys in the league played?” Relph says with a laugh. “That made him mad.”
Not long after, Relph got a call on his cell phone. Randle.
“Let’s get to work,” he said.
“Of course,” Relph said. “Just tell me where and when.”
“At some point I figured he’d want to chill,” Relph says. “But he never did. Not once. This was different. This was every day.”