Greatest one-time Knicks All-Stars – will Julius Randle join the list?

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David Vertsberger
·3 min read
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Julius Randle pulls up for midrange jumper Knicks Hawks
Julius Randle pulls up for midrange jumper Knicks Hawks

Thanks to his outstanding play this season, Julius Randle finds himself on the cusp of joining the ranks of All-Star Knickerbockers.

While fans would love to see this be more than a one-year anomaly, the list of one-time Knick All-Stars embodies the franchise’s legends, nostalgic role players, and what-might-have-beens.

We may not yet know which of these Randle will become, if any, but the talent on this list is unimpeachable.

The best names in this group are pure, 100 percent, unadulterated Knick icon status, and sometimes require a double take to grasp they only made it once. Dick Barnett made his lone team in 1968, his third year of a nine-season career with the Knicks, shooting a career-high 48.2 percent from the field. His championship teammate, Bill Bradley, did it five years later in 1973, averaging a career-high 16.1 points and 4.5 assists a night.

Decades later, John Starks and Latrell Sprewell made one-time appearances in 1994 and 2001, respectively. Neither were the lead man on their teams, but both could be when called upon, and etched their names in Knicks history through their determined and winning play.

Should another star join this latest Knicks iteration with Randle still on board, he can become one of these guys. He’s displayed the same qualities and edge, it’s just up to how long he’s on the team and how well they do.

Even if he fails to reach that status, there are many other all-time Knicks that prove a potential Randle inclusion special. Every decade is represented: Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, Vince Boryla and Max Zaslofsky in the ‘50s, Len Chappell in the ‘60s and the aforementioned ‘70s greats.

Bill Cartwright and Mark Jackson both made it early into their Knick careers in the ‘80s. The NBA named Cartwright an All-Star in his rookie season, when he averaged a career-high 21.7 points and 8.9 rebounds a game. Unfortunately, he had to compete with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson for Rookie of the Year. Jackson did it in his sophomore season averaging a career-high 16.9 points with 8.6 assists per game. Both went on to collect more seasons with the Knicks, but didn’t make another All-Star team.

Charles Oakley should probably be in the GOAT section, but given his status as more of a dirty-work non-scorer, it’s almost simultaneously surprising and unsurprising that he only made one All-Star team. It wasn’t during his higher-scoring days, but rather 1994 when the Knicks made their Finals run.

Another beloved Knicks big, though not to Oakley’s degree, made his lone Knicks All-Star appearance amidst lots of losing -- also unlike Oakley. But David Lee getting his shine in 2010 for his 20-10 stat stuffing helped shine some hope and fun on a rebuilding year.

The Melo-era 2010’s offer a fun taste of those years, from Amar’e Stoudemire making it his one year prior to breakdown, to Tyson Chandler’s defensive dominance and Kristaps Porzingis’s seemingly unlimited potential. Randle has some of that now, of similar age to Porzingis and better play this season.

Not making the All-Star team this year doesn’t take away from what Randle has done. The Knicks are competitive again in large part thanks to him, and he doesn’t need to avoid playing defense on national television for 14 minutes to validate that.

But should he make it, “Julius Randle” would be etched among some standout Knicks in history. Whether that’s with the winners cemented with the fanbase as franchise heroes, or the one-off nostalgic but ultimately disappointing inclusions, remains to be seen.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Detroit
+230+7.5O 208.5
New York
-286-7.5U 208.5