Knicks star Jalen Brunson plans to sharpen his skills as a ‘natural leader’ with Team USA

Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks
Oct 26, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) reacts after making a three point basket during the fourth quarter against the Charlotte Hornets at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

As he enters his sixth season in the NBA, New York Knicks star Jalen Brunson is determined to take his game to new heights. Representing Team USA in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Brunson feels that the summer team is exactly what he needs to take the next step in growing his game.

Jalen Brunson is preparing for Knicks training camp with Team USA practices

“I think it’s another way to get ready for training camp,” Brunson said of his decision to commit to Team USA. “You gotta look at it and see the positives that come out of this, going towards the NBA season. I know I’ll be ready for that.”

The 26-year-old guard has been excellent playing alongside Julius Randle and company for the New York Knicks. But playing with Team USA will allow Brunson to test his skills against fellow young elite players in the league, such as Anthony Edwards and Mikal Bridges.

Steve Kerr offers high praise for Jalen Brunson

Brunson has made a quick impression on Golden State Warriors and Team USA head coach Steve Kerr. The legendary head coach said Brunson’s leadership skills have stood out at Team USA practices.

“I think Jalen is such a natural leader,” Kerr said to the New York Post. “Because he’s a point guard, he immediately comes to mind. He’s the one who’s leading the ‘1, 2, 3 USA’ chant. Some guys just, it just comes naturally to them.”

Brunson’s elite passing ability keeps him heavily favored by Coach Kerr as he was mentioned alongside players like Anthony Edwards and Mikal Bridges as being strong contributors to the offense Kerr and his coaching staff are establishing.

Brunson reaping the benefits of high-stakes, high-rewards Team USA opportunity

The opportunity to represent Team USA at any juncture comes with high stakes and high rewards. Other stars have come into their NBA seasons following a summer with Team USA better than ever. Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Stephen Curry all took leaps following their summer runs with the national squad. The opportunity to participate with Team USA spurred growth in these stars by allowing them to maximize their strengths and lessen their weaknesses while playing against the association’s premier players.

Spending the summer with Team USA will allow Brunson to focus on staying in game shape and with an even sharper mental bode. The opportunity will also give Brunson a chance to gain renowned honors and further bolster his resume as one of the NBA’s most talented point guards.

As the New York Knicks aim to advance further in the playoffs, having their star player come into the season with renewed determination and skill will be a significant advantage.