Julius Randle’s remarkable first half of the season paid off, as the power forward has made the All-Star team for the first time in his career.
The All-Star reserves are chosen by the coaches of the NBA, which means that Knicks fans aren’t crazy; the rest of the league has taken notice of Randle’s Knicks. The news was first reported by The Athletic, and soon after the Knicks announced it themselves.
⭐️ IT’S OFFICIAL ⭐️— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) February 24, 2021
JULIUS RANDLE IS AN ALL-STAR. pic.twitter.com/VKdcyGaEDU
Randle is highly deserving of the honor, as we recently went over in detail. Heading into Tuesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors (and some fans for the first time in a year), Randle is averaging career highs in points, rebounds and assists (23, 11, 5.5). He’s shooting 48% from the field, 41% from deep and almost 81% from the free throw line.
He’s carried the Knicks on his broad shoulders, leading New York to its best start since 2012-13. The playoffs might be more than a pipe dream, and much of it is thanks to Randle’s transformation under new head coach Tom Thibodeau. Not to mention, he hasn’t missed a single game despite being first in the NBA in total minutes played and second in minutes per game.
Randle becomes the first Knicks All-Star since Kristaps Porzingis, who’s currently hampered by a bad back and is dealing with reports that the Mavs might want to trade him. Porzingis, of course, never got to play in that All-Star game because he tore his ACL.
With Randle getting the All-Star nod, one wonders what the Knicks are thinking when it comes to potentially signing him long term. He’s got a team option for next season. Do the Knicks view him as a cornerstone? We can try to suss that out later.
Tonight, let’s celebrate Randle. Congratulations, Julius! May your stellar season continue, starting tonight against the Warriors.