Julius Randle found his 3-point range this season — a 27.7% shooter from deep last season, he hit 41.1% this season with the Knicks. That opened everything else in his game up. Randle became the hub of the No. 4 seed Knicks offense, his threes spaced the floor on a team without enough shooting, he could drive the lane and bully his way to the rim, and his passing and playmaking improved this season as well.
All that is rare to see from a player his seventh season at age 26, and it earned Randle the Most Improved Player award.
Randle’s 4-year-old son, Kyden, presented his dad the trophy during Knicks practice, a clip shown during the TNT pregame Inside the NBA broadcast.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 25, 2021
“It was amazing,” Randle said of the moment. “Just as a dad, just to be able to have my son experience these moments with me, it’s everything I could ask for. To have him present that award to me was an amazing feeling.”
Randle received 98 of the 100 first-place Most Improved Player votes from media members selected to to vote on the award.
Detroit’s Jeramie Grant received the other two first-place votes, and enough other votes to finish second with 140 total points. Denver’s Michael Porter Jr. finished third with 138 points. Christian Wood from Houston and Zach LaVine from Chicago rounded out the top five.
Who was going to finish first was never in doubt — Randle was a runaway winner. Randle averaged 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 6 assists a game this season, made his first All-Star team, and is in the mix for an All-NBA spot.