‘He Was Relentless’ | Under Dad’s “Trauma” Military Training Knicks Star Jalen Brunson Wore Weight Vest In Summer Heat Instead Of Air-Conditioned Gym

New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson has been a godsend for the once star-deprived franchise.

The former five-star recruit who helped the Villanova Wildcats win NCAA titles in 2016 and 2018 made his first All-Star team this season and helped the Knicks land the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference despite missing fellow All-Star Julius Randle since January. 

Brunson is a perfectionist of sorts who’s been trained his entire life by his dad and former 10-year pro Rick Brunson.

In fact, the elder Brunson is an assistant for the Knicks making the duo the only one of its kind in the league. The push Brunson got from his dad has made him the player we see today, one who has become the Knicks franchise player in his second season in the Big Apple. 

When you light up MSG nightly you become a wanted man, and that’s what’s happening with the normally quiet and reserved Brunson. 

JB And Family Visits “CBS This Morning”

Following Game 1 of the Knicks current first-round playoff series against the rival Philadelphia 76ers, Brunson made an appearance on the hit morning show “CBS This Morning.”

Joining former NFL player Nate Burleson for the “Talk of the Table” segment along with his mom and dad, Brunson got into the dynamic of how he’s become the player we see today.

His mother Sandra says at an early age Jalen had a desire to be in the family business, but she thought her husband’s disciplinary approach would make her son hate basketball.

Instead, it helped him develop a tough shell and even stronger mental fortitude.

Rick Brunson started asking Jalen what he wants to do for a living in the seventh grade and his mom tells CBS, Jalen was “relentless and meticulous.”

“Even when we didn’t go to games, he would pack his bag… a duffel…we are talking about a four year old packing a duffel and wearing like a little vest or blazer, and say ‘mom I’m going to my game.’ And it would just be down the hall.”

Jalen Brunson Says It Was “Trauma” Being Coached By NBA Dad As A Kid

When asked what it was like being trained by his former professional baller dad, Brunson didn’t sugarcoat his answer. 

”Trauma,” he jokingly replied.

“He made me work out in the summer sun with a weight vest on. He’d always ask me how much I really wanted it and that there was no handouts.” 

Brunson said at times it angered him a bit because Rick had the keys to an air-conditioned gym but refused to let him get comfortable by working out in there. Says his dad made him grind and want it, and because of that he doesn’t feel pressure. 

“When it comes to basketball, I don’t feel pressure at all.” 

Brunson Struggling But Knicks Lead Series 2-1

Coming into the playoffs, Brunson was on a tear, but he shot a combined 16-for-55 in the first two games of the series, both Knicks wins. The dynamic scoring guard bounced back in Game 3 with a 39-point effort on 13 of 27 shooting in a loss. As the longtime rivals prepare for a huge Game 4 on Sunday, Knicks brass have to be excited to see Brunson find his footing in Game 3. 

Now they’ll have to figure out how to slow down reigning MVP Joel Embiid who bounced back from two subpar performances to score a playoff career-high 50 points in the Game 3 win. 

Back to top