Atlantic Notes: Fournier, Randle, Kanter, Simmons

Knicks guard Evan Fournier made an impressive debut against his former team, posting 32 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists in a double OT victory over the Celtics on Wednesday. Fournier struggled with his shooting in preseason games, but coach Tom Thibodeau wasn’t fazed, according to Zach Brazilier of the New York Post“I was never worried about him making shots,” he said. “To me, he has proven throughout his career that that is who he is.” Fournier was acquired in a sign-and-trade with his four-year contract worth up to 78MM.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Julius Randle‘s first game after signing a four-year, $117MM extension showed that he’s not resting on his laurels, Ian O’Connor of the New York Post writes. The Knicks forward racked up 35 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds. “Julius had that monster year, got a new contract and all that and he’s hungrier now than last year, which I thought was impossible,” Thibodeau said. “He comes in every night like clockwork. You know he’s going to be in there.” Randle was fined $15K by the league for throwing the ball in the stands at the end of the team’s opening-night win, Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press tweets.
  • Chinese video-streaming giant Tencent won’t show Celtics games in the foreseeable future after comments made by center Enes Kanter, according to Eva Dou and Lyric Li of the Washington Post. Kanter posted a video voicing his support for Tibetan independence. In response, Tencent cut the live broadcast of Wednesday’s game between the Celtics and the Knicks. Sixers president and former Houston GM Daryl Morey created a firestorm between the Chinese government and the NBA with his public support in 2019 of Hong Kong pro-democracy protestors.
  • The Ben Simmons saga with the Sixers even has NFL players in Philadelphia voicing their opinions. Eagles center Jason Kelce said Simmons needs to own up to his shortcomings, ESPN’s Tim McManus writes. “I don’t want to crush any other players, but what’s going on with the 76ers, Ben Simmons, stuff like that, all of that is because of a lack of accountability, a lack of owning up to mistakes and a lack of correcting things,” Kelce said. “If all that got corrected, if you’re fixing free throws, if you’re getting better as a player, none of this is happening. So everybody can b—h and complain about how tough this city is to play in. Just play better, man. This city will love you.”
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