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"I said you should sign Lonzo Ball" - Magic Johnson blames Stephen A. Smith for New York Knicks not making the playoffs this season

Lonzo Ball, left, and Julius Randle
Lonzo Ball, left, and Julius Randle
Yash Verma

The New York Knicks logged an early exit this season and were eliminated from the playoffs last thursday. Just a year ago, the Knicks clinched the fourth spot in the playoffs and lost in the first round.

Former Duke Blue Devil and Knicks guard RJ Barrett talked about how he felt after being eliminated from the playoffs:

β€œIt definitely feels different, hearing that you’re eliminated...for sure, disappointed, especially with the way we’ve been playing since the [All-Star] break. We’ve been playing amazing. So hearing that is tough.” (h/t) Newsday

The New York Knicks are 10-10 since the All-Star break this season.

Magic Johnson, on ESPN's "Get Up," had a different take on the matter:

"Stephen A. (Smith) is the reason why the Knicks are not going to the playoffs this year...because, I came on the show and said 'You should sign Lonzo Ball'..."
"And he (was like) 'No, no don't sign Lonzo Ball'. The Knicks should have signed Lonzo Ball, pair him with (Julius) Randle because they already played together with the Lakers"

He further added why Coach Tom Thibodeau would have loved to have Ball on his team:

"Tom Thibodeau loves big, defensive guards...perfect guy."
.@MagicJohnson says @stephenasmith is part of the reason why the Knicks ended up out of the playoffs πŸ˜‚πŸ‘€ https://t.co/qGXnPiZxTf

The Knicks are 35-44 this season.

Julius Randle might be trying to get out of the New York Knicks in the off-season

Julius Randle in Utah Jazz v New York Knicks
Julius Randle in Utah Jazz v New York Knicks

Julius Randle came into the New York Knicks franchise and in a year became the most-improved player, an All-Star and averaged a career-high 24.1 points per game, but things have not turned out well this season.

After his thumbs-down gesture towards the crowd at Madison Square Garden, Marc Berman of the New York Post recently reported on Randle's behavior around the Knicks franchise being an attempt to force his way out of the Knicks.

Julius Randle gives Atlanta the thumbs down DELICIOUS https://t.co/qbcT6vJpNu

According to Berman, sources attributed a lack of leadership from Randle to the downfall of the Knicks, while another source reported that Randle sometimes suits up in different areas of their locker-room.

He further reported that during the last minutes of a Hornets-Knicks game, Randle left the bench to stay in the tunnel with a public relations staffer. Randle's wishes might just come true if the Knicks go on the lookout, and they probably will, seeing as Randle has been a disruption in the locker room while not performing up to the mark.


Edited by Rohit Mishra

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