Even with the New York Knicks being one loss away from elimination, tonight brought a small moment of celebration for the organization with power forward Julius Randle being named to the All-NBA third team.
Randle is mired in a tough postseason that has seen him battle to play through a sprained ankle but not achieved near his normal level of play. His defense, or lack thereof, has come under fire in the media, and many fans were turned off by Randle suggesting that the Heat wanted it more after the Knicks’ Game 4 loss.
However, Randle’s regular season was another story.
After having a poor 2021-22 season, Randle posted a career-high 25.1 points a game along with 10 rebounds, and 4.1 assists. He shot 46% from the field and 34.3% from beyond the arc while knocking down a career-high 2.8 threes per game.
Joining Randle on the All-NBA Third Team honors are Sacramento Kings teammates De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, as well as future Hall-of-Famers LeBron James (LA Lakers) and Damian Lillard (Portland).
This season was a bit of a rebound for both the Knicks and Randle after the team and player struggled last year, just one year removed from a Knicks playoff appearance and Randle earning Second Team All-NBA honors.
“It’s a great honor,” said Randle of being selected. “You know those things don’t happen without the group of guys that we have. I’ve said all year it takes the belief of the front office, the coaching staff, and, most of all, my teammates. They trust me to go out there every night to compete and play at a high level. I just thank God. It’s a huge honor.”
First-team All-NBA was made up of Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is making his first All-NBA appearance. He was joined by familiar names Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee), Luka Dončić (Dallas), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia), and Jayson Tatum (Boston).
The Second Team was composed of the Knicks’ current playoff enemy Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat), plus Jaylen Brown (Boston), Stephen Curry (Golden State), Nikola Jokić (Denver), and New York’s first-round playoff opponent Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland).
While it was good news for Randle, it was another miss for Jalen Brunson, who many thought was worthy of inclusion after averaging 24.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 6.2 assists in his first year with the Knicks. Earlier in the year, Brunson was also not selected for the All-Star Game, finished third in the Most Improved Player race, and received only one MVP vote.
No New York player has reached the First Team since Patrick Ewing after the 1989-90 season.