Jalen Brunson is credited for leading the New York Knicks to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in 10 years, but let’s not forget about Julius Randle’s contributions. Love him or hate him, Randle helped to put the Knicks back on the map with the playoff berth in 2021.
Brunson and Randle are the two most important players in New York. Although the Knicks are searching for a superstar to trade for, the current duo deserves recognition for pulling New York back to relevancy, particularly for their efforts in 2022-23.
Speaking of players who helped make the Knicks relevant, Carmelo Anthony arrived in NYC before the 2011 trade deadline. That same year, the Knicks secured a playoff berth for the first time in seven years, and the 26.3 points Melo averaged to close out the 2011-12 regular season played a significant role in New York doing so.
Brunson’s been viewed as the Knicks’ savior, and the team’s playoff run led to many comparing him to Melo. The guard was asked about the comparison while representing Team USA at the 2023 FIBA World Cup, and he humbly denied there is any comparison between him and Melo.
Knicks’ Jalen Brunson says “there’s no comparison” between him and Carmelo Anthony
Jalen Brunson was instrumental in the Knicks beating Donovan Mitchell and the Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs. Still, in his opinion, that isn’t near enough for him to be compared to Carmelo Anthony. As Brunson said, Melo’s one of the best NBA players ever.
Brunson and Anthony had completely different paths entering the league. Melo was the No. 3 pick in the 2003 draft, while the Mavericks selected Brunson with the No. 33 pick in 2018. Brunson wasn’t expected to reach the heights he did in his first five years in the NBA, but he defied all odds and still is.
New York’s point guard could do something Melo didn’t, though, and that’s guiding the Knicks to an NBA title. Even if that happened, Brunson probably wouldn’t give himself the respect he’d be deserving of, but New York City definitely would.