News – US – The relationship in which Knicks-Julius Randle plays like an all-star

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New York Knicks star Julius Randle is hoping this will be the year he makes the NBA All-Star team.But whether it happens or not, the 26-year-old forward has been assistant coach with Knicks Kenny Payne found the recipe for success in the first year

“He’s going to push you further than you think you can really help improve,” said Randle of Payne, who has been his mentor and coach for nearly a decade at the University of Kentucky, “The Greatest About “KP” is that he wants you to be the best version of you ”


Randle has averaged 23 career highs2 points, 110 rebounds and 55 assists per game this season and is well on his way to becoming the first kink to average 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a season he’s helped to make the Knicks (15-16) a playoff contender in the East

Randle will find out Tuesday if he has made any of the coveted All-Star Reserve spots in the East If selected, the Dallas native will be the Knicks’ first All-Star since Kristaps Porzingis in 2018

“It’s something I strive for, something that I will certainly work for and of course I would be proud of,” said Randle of the opportunity to be All-Star

Payne, seeing the work his student does every day, says Randle deserves an All-Star spot

“I don’t know if people really understand who this guy is,” Payne said. “But achieving that goal would come full circle on what work, character, and intelligence are, and the ability to take care of your body Getting the job done every day, thinking mentally about the success you are achieving and how you can influence the team ”

Julius Randle of the New York Knicks shoots a free throw during a game against the Houston Rockets on February 13 at Madison Square Garden in New York City

Payne’s relationship with Randle dates back to 2013. At the time, Payne was considered one of the best college basketball assistants in the country under the Hall of Famer John Calipari The Wildcats had won the 2012 national championship and continued to produce top NBA Talents

Randle was a McDonald’s All American who considered scholarship offers from Texas, Kansas, Florida, and Kentucky.But he had a tendency to sign with Kentucky in part because he had heard great things from former and current Kentucky players about how Payne had developed and associated them with them (During Payne’s 10 years in Kentucky it was common to see the likes of Randle, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Karl-Anthony Towns, John Wall, Devin Booker, and Bam AdebayoJ Washington and Willie Cauley-Stein return to Lexington, Kentucky to improve their summer games and break bread with Payne)

Payne fondly remembers falling in love with Randle’s skills the first time he saw him at an AAU event. He had the “LeBron James” pace that came with strength and coordination during the recruitment process, Payne stood by Close to Randle’s mother, Carolyn Kyles He was also close to Randle’s godfather, AAU coach and former NBA player Jeff Webster

But when Calipari, Payne, and other coworkers visited Randle’s house for a recruiting meeting, Randle was confused

“Everyone with Kentucky ties, or whether they were gamers, said, ‘Yo, stick with KP, stay in the KP pocket, stick with him, listen to him, spend time with him, he’s going to get you right”, Randle said “So I think,” Cool “And they come over to my house and this guy, he didn’t even really say a word so I’m like,” Man, what the hell? ”

Payne had thought it best to let Calipari do the talking after their private conversation, Randle eventually signed with Kentucky, where he led the Wildcats to the national championship game as a freshman in 2014

“He taught me how to be a good teammate,” Randle said. “He really taught me how to work … KP is always about the grind, man. When we go to the gym, we will work”


Randle put his name on the 2014 NBA draft and was voted seventh overall by the Los Angeles Lakers.He averaged 161 points per game in his fourth season before joining the free agency in 2018, then Randle asked Payne again for advice – this time because of an offer from the New Orleans Pelicans

“When he asked me about the pelicans, I immediately brought him back to three years and said, ‘Do you remember who was on that bench when you said you loved Golden State? Alvin Gentry So you can play with AD and a coach who knows how to share the ball and all but one you better jump on it, “Payne said
Randle signed a $ 8 million deal for a year to play with the Pelicans, and Payne’s advice paid off. Randle averaged a career high of 214 points while adding 87 rebounds and 31 assists per game during the season 2018-19 His standout game led him to sign a $ 63 million three-year deal with the Knicks in 2019
In New York, Randle averaged 195 points, 97 rebounds and 31 assists during the 2019-20 season. Although he still didn’t get much recognition for his game due to the team record, he was proud of his annual improvement >

Tom Thibodeau was also impressed from afar, saying Randle played a huge role in taking over the New York job in July

“I liked the top of him,” said Thibodeau. “I know from coaching him that he was hard to protect. With the energy and intensity with which he plays I think he has gotten better every year I saw the kind of shape he came in over the summer and his demeanor, his approach. He’s about the team ”

When Randle heard rumors that Payne was considering leaving Kentucky to join the Knicks’ coaching staff, he was working desperately on his cell phone, knowing what Payne could do to bring his game to an all-star level bring

“I thought,” Yo, if that’s true, when you come here I need you here, “Randle said.” Having someone like him in your corner man is irreplaceable “

“He called me and said, ‘KP, come on man I need you,’ Payne recalled. He said, ‘I’m going to buy a treadmill, put it in my living room, and you can run me to death ‘”

On Aug 11, Payne left Kentucky to become an assistant at the Knicks While Randle’s stats last season were impressive, Payne believed he could take his game to a higher level Payne believed, among other things, that Randle could use his body language to improve his lead He was also shocked to hear Randle wasn’t a great rebounder and challenged him to live up to his ability to be a great

Also, Payne told Randle that he would have to play like an all-star and stop pushing for the Knicks to succeed

“Being comfortable is a big deal for him. And what I mean by being comfortable is being at peace with who you are the player,” Payne said. “Not to be rushed. Not Being out of line Don’t ride the emotional roller coaster While one team’s failures just be keel It’ll be a process Whatever happens on the pitch, your feelings stay pretty much the same This is probably the biggest thing I saw last season urged he

“When a player like Julius pushes, it’s hard to read what his body language is saying. Is it negative, frustrated, or positive body language? What is it? I’m just explaining to him who he is as a person and as a player you have to find a certain path and have a certain path in your head in order to be free to think freely, you can enjoy the game for free and not get caught up in the negative things That comes to the player’s mind If someone doesn’t give you the ball, don’t roll your eyes or have bad body language. And if this team is to win, you have to be an all-star ”

Payne said Thibodeau gave him a game plan that included what he expected Randle to do, including good form, stamina, and greater ferocity. The plan works, Randle is playing the best basketball of his NBA career

Thibodeau believes Randle deserves to be an All-Star as he influences the Knicks regardless of whether they lost their record

“As a coach, there are not enough places in the vote for all the guys who deserve to be on the All-Star Team,” said Thibodeau. “Then you go to secondary factors Often, who is on a winning team and such Things It’s unfortunate because there are a lot of deserving players who don’t get along if it doesn’t happen this year, if they move on, it will happen next year so you have to keep working on it

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“For [Randle] the most important thing to him is winning and the impact he has on the team. We still have a long way to go”

“I don’t think he’s touched the surface of how good he can be,” Payne said. “There’s more to him”

Marc J. Spears is the lead NBA writer for The Undefeated He used to be able to get involved with you, but he hasn’t been able to do it in years and his knees still ached

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News – USA – The relationship in which the Knicks-Julius Randle is like an all-star plays

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