Jalen Brunson will not change.
The Knicks know exactly what they’re getting. And exactly what their new point guard will deliver every day, regardless of his game or the circumstances.
“For me, they get a great playmaker, a great leader, a great person. A person who can score the ball, can lead the team, and most importantly they get a person who is consistent every day,” said God Shammgod, who has worked with Brunson for the past three seasons as a coach. development of Mavericks players. Job. “They get a person who is an ordinary person. And in life, not just in basketball, for me there is nothing more important than an ordinary person. Every day his energy is going to be the same, every day he’s going to come with the right attitude, with the right hard work, and that may seem simple to people, but it’s hard. In life, not just in basketball, it’s hard in life, to have someone that you know you can rely on every day to be the same.
“I’m not saying you’re not going to have bad days or good days, or some days better than others, but as far as he’s concerned personally, he’s still the same person every day. And that is a smart and hardworking basketball player who has the right stuff.
For too long, that has been painfully absent in New York. Julius Randle, the team’s big money who signed two offseasons ago, followed a breakout second season with a mercurial third campaign, occasionally battling with fans amid erratic performances and behavior. Evan Fournier, last summer’s splash signing, went through extreme hot and cold streaks, wavering in his shooting confidence.
It was perhaps most glaring at point guard, where a lack of consistency at the position that demands it most has plagued the franchise for more than two decades. In recent years, Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose haven’t even been available on the pitch after teasing the initial prospect. Before them, Jeremy Lin offered a brief flash of success before his reign quickly came to an end.
Brunson provides the Knicks with that long-awaited reliability and consistency at a position that has become infamous for lacking those qualities in New York.
“It’s because of the type of person he is, the type of person his family raised, he doesn’t really get into anything too crazy,” Shammgod said. “Everything New York is built on, everything New Yorkers want is already in it. It’s not a person who is right there [in the nightlife] besides, he’s a good boy, he’s a good human being. He likes the gym, I mean likes the gym. It’s not going to go to New York and be something totally different. He’s not a person who hangs around until four or five in the morning and stuff like that. He’s going to New York to be the point guard for the New York Knicks, and that’s how he’s going to approach it every day.
Shammgod knows all about expectations and leading in New York. A high school star at Manhattan’s La Salle Academy in the late ’80s and early ’90s who saw New York’s point guards become iconic, he’s part of the Showtime and Boardroom documentary ‘Point Gods’ to be released soon. The film, which stars Mark Jackson, Kenny Anderson, Dwayne “Pearl” Washington, Stephon Marbury, Rod Strickland, Kenny Smith and more, depicts the impact the New York basketball era has left on the basketball and the cultural community as a whole. . Shammgod played two seasons at Providence, where as a sophomore he led the Brothers to the 1997 Elite Eight. He played one season in the NBA for the Wizards before moving overseas.
Now as an assistant for the Mavericks, Shammgod worked closely with Brunson for three of his first four seasons in the NBA and saw his development firsthand. With more experience and even bigger reigns on offense, Shammgod sees even better decision-making, playing and scoring in New York.
Much has been made of the role that Brunson’s father, who played for the Knicks and is currently an assistant coach, played in Brunson’s decision. Shammgod knows the family and knows that everything Rick Brunson instilled in his son prepared him for this moment. Brunson, who grew up in New Jersey, may not be a point guard in New York. But he has what it takes to be New York’s point guard now.
“I think it’s settling in very well for him. As for me, I’m from New York, so I know fans love nothing more than a consistent, consistent player. As long as you work hard, the fans will give you the same energy. And his dad is an assistant coach there, his dad and his family did a great job with him helping him and making him the man he is today. I don’t think he’s going to have any problems with the fans, and I think the fans are going to appreciate what he brings to the table every day.
“See the thing about the Knicks, if you’re with the Knicks, you can’t get too high or too low. You have to stay in the middle, and that’s who he is as a person and as a player. He’s never the kid that’s gonna be, when things are going well he thinks ‘I’m the best person in the world’, [and] when things are not going well, [think] “Oh, I can’t play” – that’s not Jalen. Jalen will always be in the middle and always working.