ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith may be a New York Knicks fan, but he opted against voting for Jalen Brunson as an All-Star starter this season.
Stephen A Smith did not vote for Jalen Brunson as All-Star starter: "Jalen Brunson is a star & deserves all the credit in the world––but I'm sorry…Haliburton over Brunson. &…Donovan Mitchell, 28 a game…I'm supposed to ignore that?…I put [Brunson] behind Haliburton & Mitchell… pic.twitter.com/vZiMYEHqh3
— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) January 26, 2024
Ultimately, Haliburton, Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid were named the Eastern Conference starters this week.
Brunson is still a prime candidate to make the All-Star Game as a reserve, though many felt like he was deserving of a starting spot. Any sort of All-Star nod would be the first of his NBA career.
The 27-year-old is enjoying a spectacular season, as he’s averaging 26.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game on 47.8 percent shooting from the field and 42.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
His contributions have helped the Knicks post a 28-17 record through 45 games, good for the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference ahead of Friday’s NBA action. New York is currently enjoying a five-game winning streak.
Brunson is only in his second season with the Knicks, but he has made a major impact for the organization since coming over ahead of the 2022-23 season. He helped New York win a playoff series in the 2023 postseason, and the squad will look to make an even deeper run when the 2024 postseason arrives.
The point guard didn’t earn any major individual accolades last season despite a very productive campaign. He averaged 24.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists per contest in very efficient fashion.
This season, he may be starting to get the attention he deserves, though the fact that he wasn’t named an All-Star starter isn’t exactly a positive development in that regard. Perhaps he will use it as motivation going forward.
The Knicks recently earned a convincing win over the Denver Nuggets and will be back in action on Saturday for a matchup against the Miami Heat. If New York keeps stringing wins together, Brunson and his squad will likely start to get more respect around the NBA.