Randle opted for stability over money with new Knicks deal
Randle would have been eligible for an extension in the neighborhood of $200 million had he waited until his contract expired next summer, but the 26-year-old had other motivations.
"The money was one thing, but for me, it was more about the situation as far as my happiness, the basketball situation, my family, just being stable and being in New York and really just continuing to build this thing up," Randle told ESPN's Andrew Lopez.
"When I signed here two years ago, this was my vision, to be able to lock in something long term and build something from the ground up. That's what we're doing. All hands on deck," he added.
Randle penned a three-year, $63-million contract with the Knicks in July 2019 following a season in New Orleans, and he's since become the primary offensive force in New York.
"At the end of the day, I've had stops along the way in my career where I haven't been happy playing," Randle said. "I understand both sides of it and how hard this game could be and how hard it can be being on a team where the chemistry's not right and it's tough showing up to your job every night.
"And for me, I truly enjoy showing up to my job every day, whether it was practice, whether it was flying, whether it was playing a game, whatever it was. I truly enjoy it, and I'm happy being a Knick."
Randle averaged career highs in points (24.1), rebounds (10.2), and assists (six) last season, earning his first All-Star nod in the process. He was also named the NBA's Most Improved Player after guiding the Knicks to their first playoff berth since 2012-13.
The Atlanta Hawks bounced the Knicks in the first round, but the offseason additions of Bronx-born point guard Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier have upgraded the backcourt ahead of what Randle hopes is another playoff run.
"I don't think there's a better place to win a championship than here," Randle said. "I wanted to be a part of that, and I felt like I could help be a part of that. And I thought with me signing that extension, it could help (Knicks president Leon Rose) and those other guys get pieces and continue to build the team so we could have that opportunity."