WATCH: Knicks’ Julius Randle Gets Emotional After Receiving Most Improved Player Award From Son

Published 05/26/2021, 8:00 AM EDT
May 23, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) drives to the basket against the Atlanta Hawks during the second half in game one in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Seth Wenig/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports


This season has put the New York Knicks back on the map. They have entered the postseason for the first time since 2013, that too as the fourth-seeded team, far ahead of elites like the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.

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Knicks’ success has a lot to do with what Julius Randle is contributing and he was fairly rewarded for it last night.

Julius Randle gets a surprise with his MIP award

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Randle won the Kia Most Improved Player Award and rightly so. He ended the regular season with career-highs all over with 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 6 assists. Last season, he had only averaged 19.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists. There was a hike even in his three-point percentage as it went from 27 percent to 41 percent.

Doing justice to the title just given to him was topped by who ended up presenting him with the award. Randle’s son, Kyden, surprised him and handed the award to him while the rest of his team cheered.

When asked about what it was like sharing that moment with Kyden, Julius stated, “It was amazing. As a dad, just to have my son experience these moments with me, is everything I could ask for. So, to have him present that award to me was an amazing feeling for sure.”

Can he carry the Knicks deeper into the playoffs?

The New York Knicks lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the first game of the series. However, the intense matchup had us at the edge of our seats, and fans in the Madison Square Garden were going crazy like never before.

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Unfortunately, Randle didn’t have a great game. He went 6-23, Reggie Bullock was 0-5 from three and even R.J. Barrett went 1-6 from three. Even after this, the game came down to the buzzer and ended with a 107-105 score.

May 23, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) makes a basket during the first half in game one in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Seth Wenig/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

One bad night by Randle is forgivable. But if he wants to make sure that the Knicks go further in playoff contention, he can’t be slacking off. The Knicks are scheduled to meet the Hawks tomorrow. Will the 2021 Most Improved Player be able to tie the series and keep the Knicks afloat?

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DIVE DEEPER

‘Atlanta Got More Weapons’: Charles Barkley Asserts Why Only Julius Randle Can Save NY Knicks

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Yashima Bhatia

1207 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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