Jalen Brunson might be the greatest player in Knicks franchise history

The New York Knicks advanced to the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs on Thursday night with a 118-115 Game 6 win over the Philadelphia 76ers . Jalen Brunson was magnificent once again, recording 41 points (including 14 in the fourth quarter) to put the tenacious Sixers on the run. ESPN analyst Jay Williams was so in awe of his performance that he went on Friday morning’s episode of Get Up to sing the point guard’s praises.

He may have gone a bit far, though. Even for the most die-hard Knicks fans. Williams said he believes Brunson will become one of the greatest Knicks of all time, if not the greatest.

Brunson was incredibly impressive and the marks he made, as indicated by the chyron, are historic. However, Williams himself acknowledges that he may have been exaggerating in speaking so highly of Brunson’s place in franchise history when he has yet to win a championship. Patrick Ewing didn’t get one, but Walt Frazier and Willis Reed did. Even the most ardent Brunson supporter would hesitate to argue that Brunson is above any of these three in the franchise hierarchy right now.

This sort of Brunson-mania is completely understandable through the lens of the Knicks’ recent history. The organization was desperate for a new face of the franchise for nearly five years after Carmelo Anthony left and had not been seriously competitive for nearly a decade. The years that passed between Ewing’s retirement and the Melo trade aren’t even worth discussing in this space. The Knicks were seriously lacking in 21st century legends before Brunson’s arrival.

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