Julius Randle’s dream wasn’t just to make it to the NBA. He was becoming an NBA All-Star.
The dream came true when Randle was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team as a reserve to cap off his career year in his second season with the Knicks.
Randle will become the first Knicks player to participate in an All-Star Game since Carmelo Anthony in 2017. This year’s All-Star Game is scheduled for March 7 in Atlanta.
Eastern reserves among the frontcourt players included Jayson Tatum and Nikola Vucevic. Randle beat Domantas Sabonis of Indiana, Bam Adebayo of Miami and Tobias Harris of Philadelphia.
Kristaps Porzingis was inducted into the All-Star team in 2018, but never made it to the contest. Shortly after being named, he tore his ACL and never played for the Knicks again.
“It would mean a lot,” Randle said Tuesday after the Knicks’ morning practice hours before the reveal. “My goal was never just to play in the NBA. I always felt that I would get there. I just wanted to be the best player I could be and reach my potential. And I try to push myself every day to do it. It would definitely be a milestone. “
League coaches voted for Randle and the Knicks power forward had a suspicion that he had earned the respect of every stunt team he faced this season on the way to career numbers.
Randle has played in all 31 games so far this season, posting personal records in points (23.2), rebounds (11.0), assists (5.5) and minutes (36.8). It entered the season after a boring first year as a commercial bait, but now it’s the opposite. The Post has learned that Randle is considered part of the future and the Knicks have no desire to carry him over with their $ 20 million team option. Randle is a client of Creative Artists Agency, which used to be run by Knicks president Leon Rose.
“I think I have that validation of how [opposing coaches] he plays with me every night, ”Randle said. “With the double teams. How they try to plan the game. All that kind of stuff. Obviously, the all-star nod would be incredible. Every player strives to do that. “
Randle said that if he succeeded, the determination would have been based on his “impact on victory.” With an underrated roster, the Knicks entered Tuesday’s game against the Warriors 15-16. In fact, they would be much worse without his night dominance which has included his improvement from the 3 point line, and in his decision making and leadership. Randle hasn’t made the playoffs in his first six seasons, but that could change, too.
“As you grow as a player throughout your career, you learn to do the little things to help the team win,” Randle said. “Coach [Tom Thibodeau] He’s done a great job training me, putting me in those positions. And we are winning, having those numbers. But I think maybe a lot of people, before the year, told us as a team, said that we weren’t going to be as good as a team. We’re turning a lot of heads from game to game, so that’s probably something to do with that too. “