December 15 was a beautiful day for New York Knicks basketball. Not only did they take down the star-studded Phoenix Suns, but the Knicks witnessed greatness from the future of their franchise.

            Jalen Brunson first joined the squad last year before the start of the 2022-23 season for 4 years and $104 million, and the fanbase was split. There was no question about his talents as everybody was happy to welcome Brunson to New York. But, there was a fear that this was yet another classic Knicks overpay that wouldn’t work out.

            This fear couldn’t have been proven any more wrong as Brunson is everything New York has hoped for and more. In his first season, he finished with 24 points per game on 49.1% from the field and 41.6% from three-point range. He proved to be one of the most efficient, high-volume scorers in the NBA.

Brunson also impacted his teammates as a playmaker and a leader. He averaged 6.2 assists per game and only 2.1 turnovers per game solidifying himself as a top point guard in the league. He was the focal point of the offense and ignited a spark that New York basketball desperately needed.

Brunson led the team to a 5th seed in a competitive Eastern Conference, securing a spot in the playoffs. The Knicks matched up with the higher ranked Cleveland Cavaliers, whom Brunson helped defeat in a commanding 4-1 series victory.

Unfortunately, their time would come to an end after losing to the Miami Heat in the next round, but there was much to look forward to. Brunson picked up right where he left off in the 2023-24 season averaging even more points, with 25.5 per game. He is still an efficient scorer as he shoots 47.5% from the field and a staggering 45.8% from three-point land.

It seems like he’s gotten even better this season and one of his latest performances highlights this. This past Friday he had a career game scoring 50 points in a 139-122 road victory over the Suns.

His play-making was on full display as well, as he dished out 9 assists leaving his imprint all over this game. The most incredible part of his night was his shooting efficiency yet again. He shot 17-23 from the field, which is a whopping 73.9%. Brunson was also perfect from beyond the arc, shooting 9-9, or 100%, in three-pointers.

This wasn’t only a historic night for Brunson, but it had an impact on the history of the Knicks franchise and the NBA as a whole. He joined Knicks legends Patrick Ewing, Bernard King, and Willis Reed as the fourth New York Knick to record 50 points on at least 70% shooting.

Brunson also broke several NBA records as he was the first player in history with at least 50 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals in one game demonstrating his all-around effort. It was also the first 50-point game with 100% shooting from three with at least 8 attempts. On top of all of this, Brunson didn’t miss a single shot in the second half. He went 12-12 shooting while scoring 35 points to earn a promising victory against one of the best teams in the league.

New York fans were ecstatic for this performance as it instilled hope that he is the new face of the franchise and he can lead them to an NBA title.

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James Haupt is The Messenger Papers' weekly Sports Reporter and Staff Writer, covering everything from local little leagues to professional sports teams. James is also a full-time college student at Villanova University majoring in Journalism.