To the surprise of almost nobody, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic won the 2021 NBA MVP award Tuesday night. While no Knick was a contender for the big prize, Julius Randle certainly put in the work during the regular season to earn some down-ballot votes.
And so it was. Randle earned one third-place vote, two fourth-place votes and nine fifth-place votes to end up in eighth place overall. That’s pretty damn impressive for a Knick, as this franchise hasn’t had many players in the top-10 in the past few decades.
Julius Randle finished 8th in MVP voting.— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) June 9, 2021
He’s just the third Knick over the last 35 years to finish in the top-8 in the MVP race.
Patrick Ewing and Carmelo Anthony are the other two. pic.twitter.com/HFuHMvlipH
Clearly, Randle deserved the spot. He only missed one game this season, leading the Knicks to a surprising playoff berth. He led the team in points, rebounds and assists.
The real surprise came one place down on the list, where Knicks point guard Derrick Rose finished ninth, with one first-place vote.
What gives? Rose had a tremendous season, and was a finalist for Sixth Man of the Year, but he was no MVP candidate.
Jokic wins, Embiid 2nd, Curry 3rd.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 8, 2021
Derrick Rose got an MVP first-place vote. League source tells AP it was not from media; it was the consensus fan vote.
And LeBron James' streak continues: 18 years with at least one MVP vote.
That makes sense: Rose has some wild stans. If you’ve ever said a bad thing about him on Twitter, you know what I mean.
Anyway, congratulations to Randle...and to Rose, I guess. They both did some great stuff this season!