He is easy to forget about, because so much of the talk is of the kids, the first- and second- and third-year players, all of whom maximized the preseason in their own way. If we weren’t talking about RJ Barrett and Obi Tobbin, we were speculating about Immanuel Quickley and Mitch Robinson and Kevin Knox.
Such is life in the NBA dustbin, as well as at the family photo session:
The babies get the most attention.
So it is that Old Man Julius Randle – who turned all of 26 years old on Nov. 29 – feels like the George Blanda of this bunch, white-haired and gray-bearded, even as it is likely that he is entering the very prime of his career.
He finished 18 rebounds shy of averaging a double-double last season, settling for a nightly output of 19.5 points and 9.7 boards. He was the Knicks’ best player, even if there were times he could frustrate the Garden crowd with his shot selection, with his Carmeloan ball-stoppages, with his turnovers.
Nobody ever said he was an MVP.
But he was certainly the most outstanding Knick.
And is almost certainly going to be that again this season, which begins Wednesday night in Indianapolis, which will feature so many moving Knicks pieces and so much youth, and yet it is Randle who, more nights than not, will fill up the stat sheet in ways you probably won’t even notice until the game’s over.