The New York Knicks’ Julius Randle is this year’s recipient of the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award, the league announced on Tuesday night.
Randle was voted the winner almost unanimously, having received 98 first-place votes from a possible 100. The Detroit Pistons’ Jerami Grant received the two remaining first-place votes and came in second while the Denver Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. rounded the top three.
Randle is the first Knicks player to receive the MIP award since it was introduced in 1985. The 26-year-old player also became the only player alongside Hedo Turkoglu to win while already being in the league for seven seasons or more.
Julius Randle has been enjoying a breakthrough campaign that saw him post career-best numbers all across the board. He finished the regular season averaging 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and six assists, and was the Knicks leader in all of these categories.
These strong performances gave Randle his first All-Star nod and helped the Knicks get to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
“I just wanna say thank you to everybody involved,” said Randle during a chat with reporters via video call. “I mean, it truly was a team thing.”
Randle spent the first four years of his career with the LA Lakers, who selected him seventh in the 2014 NBA Draft. He then played one year in New Orleans before inking a three-year, $63 million contract with the Knicks in 2019.