New York Knicks power forward Julius Randle has been named NBA’s Most Improved Player for 2021. 

Randle received 98 out of 100 first-place votes and a total of 493 points for the title, which was judged by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

Photo from NBA’s Official Website

The 26-year-old baller, who’s now playing his seventh season in the league and is on his third team, is the first Knicks player to ever be given the award. 

The honor – first presented in the 1985-1986 season, is given to up-and-coming players who exhibit great improvement in their performance compared to the previous season or seasons.

Randle thanked everyone who supported him throughout his seven-year career, especially his family, the New York Knicks, and his teammates.

“I just wanna say thank you to everybody involved. I mean it truly was a team thing. Everybody in the Knicks organization, top to bottom, I can’t thank everybody enough, Randle told reporters in a virtual conference.

“All my teammates, everybody, they trust me and empower me. I just wanna thank them for allowing me to lead them. And then my family, my wife, my son, everybody, like everybody, has played a part in helping me continue to become the best version of me on and off the court,” he added.

In his latest playing season, Randle was able to finish averaging 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 0.9 steals in 71 games.

He was also selected as a reserve player for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game where he placed eighth in the league in double-doubles with 41 and tied for seventh in triple-doubles with six.

Randle spent his debut season with the Los Angeles Lakers and stayed with the team for another three before transferring to the New Orleans Pelicans, wherein he stayed for two seasons. 

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Image credit: Michael Gonzales / NBAE via Getty Images