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Jalen Brunson Gets MVP Backing From Legendary College Coach

Jalen Brunson's MVP hopes were backed by Rick Pitino.

Jalen Brunson is having a marvelous season for the New York Knicks. The point guard has been the leader behind a Knicks team that is making the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since they made it three straight years from 2011-13.

One very well-known college basketball head coach has noticed and seems to believe that he should be the league’s MVP.

Jalen Brunson Gets MVP Backing From Legendary College Coach

Rick Pitino Showers Praise on Knicks and Brunson

While not flat-out saying Jalen Brunson’s name, one could assume that Rick Pitino was referring to him in this X post.

Entering Friday night’s meeting with the Brooklyn Nets, the Knicks own a 48-32 record. They sit in third place in the Eastern Conference. This is despite All-Star Julius Randle being out since late January (and out for the rest of the season) with a dislocated shoulder.

Now in his second season with the Knicks, Brunson has improved even more from last season’s breakout. After finishing 12th in MVP voting in 2022-23, he will surely finish higher this season.

With two games remaining, the 27-year-old Brunson is fourth in the league in scoring at 28.6 points per outing. He’s also 12th with his 6.7 assists per game. After being an All-Star snub last season, he was named to the team for the first time in 2024. Brunson is likely to make his first All-NBA team as well.

While the great Pitino may believe Brunson is the MVP, a certain big man in Denver is likely going to win it for the third time. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Nikola Jokic is a substantial favorite at -10,000. The only two other players that can be bet on are Luka Doncic (+2000) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+3000).

Pitino Knows a Thing or Two About the Knicks and MSG

Some may not be aware that Pitino was the head coach of the Knicks for two seasons in 1987-88 and 1988-89. They were of course led by Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing. In Pitino’s second season at the helm, New York reached the second round of the playoffs.

The two time national champion head coach is now coaching at St. John’s with the Red Storm. This past season was his first year with the school. Pitino and the Red Storm played eight regular season games and two Big East Tournament games at Madison Square Garden which also houses the Knicks.


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