The New York Knicks are on fire. They have won eight straight games, the longest active streak in the NBA, and are currently fourth in the Eastern Conference standings. Their latest victory was a thrilling one, as Julius Randle hit a clutch 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left to beat the Miami Heat 122-120 on Friday night.
Randle finished with a career-high 43 points, along with 10 rebounds and six assists, leading the Knicks to their first win in Miami since 2014. He also made history by becoming the first Knicks player to score at least 40 points and hit a game-winning shot since Carmelo Anthony in 2012.
Julius Randle’s heroics didn’t end there. As he celebrated his game-winner with his teammates, he accidentally knocked over his head coach Tom Thibodeau, who was standing near the bench. Thibodeau fell to the floor, but quickly got up and joined the celebration.
Why are People Comparing Julius Randle Pushing Down Tom Thibs to a Glen Davis Situation?
The hilarious moment was captured by cameras and quickly went viral on social media. Many fans compared it to another memorable incident involving a game-winning shot and a coach: when Glen Davis pushed down a kid after hitting a buzzer-beater for the Orlando Magic against the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the 2009 Eastern Conference semifinals.
Davis, who was nicknamed “Big Baby”, ran down the court after making his shot and shoved him aside with his left arm. The kid stumbled backwards and looked stunned by Davis’ move.
It’s tough to see during the in game footage, but here’s a video recorded by a fan in the crowd, where you can see Julius Randle knocking down Tom Thibs. He flew through the air like a cartoon character.
Now here’s the infamous Glen Davis moment. Pay attention to the kid wearing the hat on the sideline.
Randle’s case was different, as he didn’t intentionally push Thibodeau. He also didn’t seem to notice what he had done until later, when he watched the replay on TV. He said he felt bad for knocking over his coach, and joked that Thibodeau wouldn’t talk to him after that.
Thibodeau, however, didn’t seem too bothered by Randle’s bump. He praised Randle’s performance and leadership, saying that he has been “terrific” all season long. He also said that he was happy for Randle and his teammates, who have shown great resilience and improvement under his guidance.
The Knicks have exceeded expectations this year, thanks largely to Randle’s All-Star caliber play. He is averaging career-highs in points (23.6), rebounds (10.5), assists (6), steals (0.9), blocks (0.3), 3-point percentage (41%) and free throw percentage (80%). He is also playing a league-leading 37 minutes per game.
Randle has emerged as a legitimate candidate for both Most Improved Player and MVP awards this season. He has led the Knicks to their best record since 2013-14, when they last made the playoffs. He has also become a fan favorite among Knicks supporters, who have chanted “MVP” for him at Madison Square Garden.
Randle’s game-winner against the Heat was another highlight in his remarkable season. It also added another chapter to his growing relationship with Thibodeau, who has helped him reach new heights as a player and a leader.