Knicks fans got their first taste of newly-signed point guard Jalen Brunson playing with his new teammates on Tuesday, as he appeared in the Nike Pro City playoffs indoor basketball league in the Bronx.
Brunson teamed up with Knicks’ Julius Randle and Obi Toppin for the event, and the trio received a very warm welcome from the fans, who’ve been eagerly awaiting Brunson’s official NBA debut in blue and orange.
Their team, which featured purple jerseys with the “Pro City” logo across their chests, quickly filled up the highlight reels, as Brunson manned the point guard slot and dished out several dimes to his new Knicks teammates — much to the applause of spectators.
The end result was less thrilling, though, as the Knicks trio lost by 13 points to their amateur opponents.
The Knicks trio of Obi Toppin (25 PTS), Jalen Brunson (24 PTS) & Julius Randle (18 PTS) put on a show at the Pro City NYC Playoffs.
But ended up losing by 13 to a team with Jordan Aaron (40 PTS) & Jordan Washington (40 PTS)
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) August 9, 2022
Still, they showed what they could become in the upcoming season, with high-flying windmill dunks and fast breaks that put on display the athleticism and chemistry fans were hoping to see.
“It’s a playoff atmosphere, New York City bragging rights on the line,” said the league’s director, Bernard Bowen. “You have a lot of kids [here] who can’t afford the opportunity to go to a Knicks game, so for those guys to come and play in that atmosphere where it’s free for the kids, it’s a blessing.”
Toppin was the high-scorer of the Knicks trio with 25 points, while Brunson added 24 and Randle piled on another 18 in the 110-97 loss.
— Knickstape Shmurda (@daley_shmurda) August 9, 2022
Brunson signed with the Knicks this offseason on a 4-year contract worth over $100 million after spending his first 4 years in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks. (The Knicks are also expected to be hit with a fine for tampering, as they are being investigated for allegedly recruiting Brunson before the free agency window officially started on June 30th).
He now joins coach Tom Thibodeau’s squad as their main ball handler on offense, and gives the Knicks their first long-term starting point guard in over a decade.
Last season, Brunson recorded 16.3 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 50.2% from the field and 37.3% from beyond the arc.