Leon Rose takeaways from latest interview, including calling Tom Thibodeau ‘one of the best coaches in the NBA’

Leon Rose during Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier presser

Here are the takeaways from Leon Rose’s interview on Sunday with MSG’s Mike Breen:

ON JULIUS RANDLE

if you were hoping to get clarity on how the Knicks will approach Julius Randle’s future with the club, you weren’t going to get it during Rose’s interview on Sunday. Before coming to the Knicks, Rose was a player agent at CAA. He may not have experience as a team president, but he’s well-aware of the impact of a public statement from an organization’s top voice. So he wasn’t going to divulge too much about the Knicks’ offseason approach in this interview.

Here’s what he said about Randle:

“Julius is a passionate player. He’s a person who – last year everything went right. This year things didn’t go right. He still wound up one of (three) players to average 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists (Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic are the others).

“Things happened on the court, we saw some emotion coming out, saw some things happening. I think it affected his play at times. He felt remorseful for some of those things, as he expressed to the fans in his letter he sent. He kept working and worked through it to the end of the season.”

Randle gave fans a “thumbs down” during a game in the first half of the season, later explaining that he meant the gesture as a way to say “shut the f— up” to fans who were booing him.

Fan interaction aside, Randle also struggled with his shooting. The Knicks mirrored Randle’s regression, finishing in 12th place in the Eastern Conference a season after they made the playoffs in 2020-21.

Rose was asked by Breen about Randle’s struggles.

“(He) was just not comfortable at times. It was just not being comfortable. He gave it his best effort. The three-point shot just didn’t go like last year and you had teams keying on him more this year. At the end he made some adjustments. He carried the burden. I was proud of the fact he did fight through it.”

Rose said Randle told him that he wants to remain in New York, something the 27-year-old has said throughout the season.

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