Knicks’ Jalen Brunson opens up about unwavering self-confidence leading him to his first All-Star season

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at New York Knicks
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Belief in one’s self is the first step to succeeding at any endeavor in life. New York Knicks franchise player Jalen Brunson has embraced that principle throughout his basketball journey, and it has been a major driving force in his ascension to his first All-Star nod this season.

Though his confidence has not waned, Brunson shed light on how the prestigious honor wasn’t something he penciled in despite being convinced that he would be a high-level contributor in the league, as Mark W. Sanchez of the New York Post shared:

“I’ve always known if I had an opportunity, I’d be able to do my best at it. Not saying I knew I’d be here [at All-Star Weekend], but I knew I’d be able to do something one day.” 

Knicks: Brunson’s steady trajectory has charted his All-Star course in 2023-24

It’s this mindset that has helped Brunson elevate at several stages of his career. Brunson went from showing flashes during his first two seasons with the Dallas Mavericks to being a steady contributor as a featured cog in his third year. He made a discernible jump once appointed a starter in his fourth season and a coming out party in the 2022 playoffs springboarded his graduation to No. 2 status behind Julius Randle on the Knicks in 2022-23.

A look at the full extent of Brunson’s greatness with the Knicks this year

Brunson’s maturation into a borderline MVP candidate has come as a surprise to the basketball world and to himself as well.

Brunson is doing things that no Knicks point guard has achieved in decades. He’s also put himself in the conversation with the best point guards in the Association in the process.

Just how crucial has Brunson been to the Knicks’ winning efforts? New York is 13-3 in games where Brunson has made four or more threes. They are 1-2 when he hasn’t taken the floor.

How stellar has Brunson been as an individual performer? He has a 50-point gem, four outings with 40-plus, and an additional 17 games with at least 30 points thus far. His chops as a scorer leave no room for doubt, and he’s also been money late in games.

Brunson gets to have his name placed next to the game’s most prolific superstars

Brunson will now grace the All-Star floor with NBA 75th Anniversary team honorees such as LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) and Kevin Durant (Phoenix Suns), former MVPs like Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets), and will have the chance to go at it with the creme of the crop at his position, four-time champion Stephen Curry.

Brunson has weathered a storm of media criticism and player comparisons to becoming an All-Star and what he does on the floor will only magnify his noteworthy campaign and jolt him into what he hopes will be a fruitful second-half surge toward a championship run.

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