The NBA has not yet announced whether there will be an All-Star game this season due to COVID-19 restrictions. Regardless of whether it is played or not, Knicks striker Julius Randle is hoping to be included in the squad for the first time in his career.
Randle averaged the best results of his at the Knicks 7-8 start Career (22.8 points per game), rebounds (11.0) and assists (6.1), while he and his teammate RJ Barrett (37.1) posted the second most minutes in the league per game).“You always strive to be the best version of who you are. You set goals and the like. It’s obviously something that I naturally want. But I’m not focusing on that, ”said Randle on a Zoom call before Thursday’s game against the Warriors in San Francisco. “I’m really just focusing on this team, getting lost in the team, trying every night to figure out how to be the best version of myself and give my team the chance to win and do whatever I can to be ready to give our team the chance to win night after night.
“These things come with it. Year after year I try to get better, to empower myself to be the best version of myself, so obviously the recognition is great … but I still feel like I still have a long way to go and a lot that I can improve. ”
An NBA spokesperson said Thursday that the league » is still determining what to do « after announcing in November that the All-Star Weekend (scheduled for April 12-14) February) would not take place in Indianapolis, where instead the game will take place in 2024.
« It won’t be on the originally scheduled dates in Indianapolis, but [we] certainly haven’t canceled it, » the spokesman said.
The NFL scrapped the Pro Bowl that year but still held votes and named rosters for the AFC and NFC. Many players in both sports have bonuses built into their contracts based on all-star designations.
Randle, for example, would add $ 900,000 to his $ 18.9 million salary, according to Spotrac.com earn if he were called to the All-Star Team.
In addition to his consistently improved attacking numbers, the 26-year-old former Kentucky star has taken on an expanded leadership role in his seventh NBA season and in New York.
“Definitely more convenient. A year of experience always helps, ”said Randle. « Last year was the first time I was really put in such a position and you will have mistakes. That’s okay. You learn from them, you grow and get better.
» For me it was. In everything I do, I try to put the team first. It worked for me to put the team first, make everyone else better, and make sure everyone is good or whatever. I just lose myself in the team, lose myself in what the coach asks me to do and of course I can play some of my best basketball games. «
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau also praised Randle’s play on the defensive end of the floor, especially in the team’s stingy 91-84 win over Orlando on Monday.
» I loved that about this game. Just his rudeness, his stickiness, ”Thibodeau said on Wednesday of Randle. “He just kept going. His will. His rebound was enormous for us. These two loose balls at the end of the game. That kind of effort plays, you know it inspires the team.
« I think this is his biggest area of growth in terms of his game. Very gifted offensive player. We’ve all seen that during his career. All of this now putting it together was enormous for us. ”
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