Finally, New York Knicks power forward Julius Randle has entered the NBA All-Star conversation.
Randle was among the top 10 frontcourt players in the Eastern Conference in the second fan returns of the NBA All-Star balloting that was released on Thursday.
Randle accumulated 212,799 votes to snag the no. 10 spot, dislodging Cleveland Cavaliers’ big man Jarrett Allen.
Brooklyn Nets injured star Kevin Durant continued to lead the Eastern Conference’s All-Star frontcourt with 4,509,238 votes, with his teammate Nic Claxton (255,607) joining him in the ninth spot.
Randle trails Claxton by 42,808 votes.
“Obviously, you work hard to put yourself in a position to do that. So it would be amazing [to play in the All-Star Game]. I love it. Not necessarily for me, obviously it is great, but I love it to be able to experience it with my family because they’re the ones that really make the true sacrifice and have led me to dedicate myself to the game the way I’ve been able to do in the summers and night in and night out.
So I love to be able to let them enjoy it and see the rewards of it and stuff like that. So that’s why it’s important. But for me, whatever the team needs night in and night out. Whatever it is, I just want to help the team [win].”Julius Randle after the first fan returns of NBA All-Star voting
Randle is averaging career highs in scoring (24.1) and rebounding (10.3) with 3.8 assists while matching his shooting percentage (45.6 percent) during his All-Star season two years ago.
A lot of it, Randle credits to Jalen Brunson, the Knicks’ starting point guard, who’s been snubbed for the second straight balloting.
Instead of Brunson, former MVP Derrick Rose, who is currently out of the Knicks rotation, who remained at the top 10 guards in the East.
Rose stayed at no. 9 with 298,100 votes, with Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving remaining the Eastern Conference leader with nearly 300,000 lead over Cleveland Cavaliers’ Donovan Mitchell.
The next fan update is on Jan. 19. Votes for tomorrow (Friday), 16 and 20 will be counted three times. Fans can vote through the NBA app.
The All-Star starters will be chosen based on fan votes (50%), NBA players (25%) and media panel (25%). The reserves will be selected by the NBA coaches, while roster replacements in case of injuries will be chosen by the league.
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