Knicks forward Julius Randle was selected for this year’s All-Star Game as a reserve.
This is Randle’s second All-Star selection, the first coming in the 2020-21 season. After a down year with the Knicks, he’s reinvigorated himself. In fact, Randle is having a season comparable to that All-Star year.
In 52 games, Randle is averaging 24.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. In that 2020-21 season, Randle averaged 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists.
“I think both are deserting,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said prior to the announcement. “Julius has had a monster year all year. I’d be surprised if he’s not on it. I hope Jalen gets recognized for the contributions that he’s made.”
After Thursday’s game, Randle spoke about his selection and what went into it.
“It’s a huge honor, man. There’s a lot that goes into it. A lot of trust in myself and the people around me.”
Randle listed many of the Knicks brass including owner James Dolan and president of operations Leon Rose as those who put their trust in him.
“[Associate head coach Johnnie Bryant] came to me in the beginning of the summer,” he continued. “He came to me and had an honest conversation. He helped me put my ego to the side. Tried to adjust my game, look myself in the mirror and do what’s best for the team. It’s a team effort, this is a team honor. The only thing that really sucks is that I think Jalen should be right here with me”
Jalen Brunson did not make his first All-Star game despite having a career year and keeping the Knicks in playoff contention.
In 49 games, the New Jersey native is averaging 22.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game, more than any of his four seasons with the Dallas Mavericks.
The addition of Brunson has lifted the Knicks from their disappointing 37-45 campaign last season to a respectable 27-25 record. The Knicks are also the No. 7 seeds in the Eastern Conference, which would qualify them for the play-in tournament.