Knicks Star Jalen Brunson Gives Mic-Drop Comment on ESPN’s Straw Poll

Knicks' Jalen Brunson

Getty Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks reacts after making a three pointer.

New York Knicks star point guard Jalen Brunson had a mic-drop comment on finishing sixth in ESPN’s MVP straw poll.

“Means nothing to me,” Brunson told reporters before exiting the locker room after dropping 43 points on the Milwaukee Bucks on April 7.

The Knicks’ 122-109 comeback win moved the team into a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with the Orlando Magic.

Brunson came out of nowhere to finish sixth in ESPN’s informal poll with 100 media members behind Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dallas’ Luka Doncic, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Boston’s Jayson Tatum.

The Knicks’ first-time All-Star jumped from seventh place in the second round of voting after he was initially snubbed at the start of the poll.

Brunson received three third-place votes, two fourth-place votes and 19 fifth-place votes to finish with 40 total points. Jokic is the overwhelming pick to win his third MVP with 953 points while Gilgeous-Alexander was a distant second with 636 points.

Jalen Brunson Moves Up to 3rd in Knicks’ 40-Point Club

Brunson’s 43 points were his ninth this season as he continued his remarkable second year in New York since signing what is now considered to be the best bargain deal in the league — $104 million over four years — in 2022.

The Knicks starting point guard moved to solo third behind Bernard King (13) and Patrick Ewing (11) and got past Carmelo Anthony (8) for the most games for the Knicks with 40+ points in a season.

Brunson outplayed Antetokounmpo, who finished fourth with 334 points in ESPN’s MVP straw poll on Sunday night, as he led the Knicks in overcoming an 11-point deficit.

Antetokounmpo finished with 28 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists. Brunson added 6 rebounds and 8 assists to his sterling scoring effort. He shot 16 of 32 from the field and 9 of 11 free throws.

The Bucks have become one of Brunson’s favorite scoring targets this season. He’s averaging 37.2 points in five games against them this season, his fourth-most scoring average against an opponent this season, per Statmuse.

Like the ESPN’s MVP straw poll, Brunson also had a nonchalant answer when asked why he’s always productive against the Bucks.

“I don’t know,” Brunson told reporters. “The ball goes through the hoop against them. I’m averaging 37, but we’re 2-3 (against the Bucks). Before tonight, we were 1-3. So no matter what the points were, we weren’t getting wins. Obviously tonight we found a way to win the game. Their game plan was working for the first three of four games.”

Jalen Brunson Predicted Not to Extend With Knicks in Offseason

With Brunson’s rise as one of the league’s stars, maximizing his earning opportunity while at the peak of his prime could factor in his decision on potential extension talks this summer.

Brunson is eligible for a four-year, $156.5 million extension but Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz predicts the Knicks star will decline it.

“Waiting until 2025 when he can become an unrestricted free agent would be far more lucrative for Brunson, who made just $6.1 million over his first four seasons after being selected in the second round by the Mavs.

Brunson will be able to sign for 30 percent of the 2025-26 salary cap that could reach as high as $155.1 million, according to This would mean a first-year salary of $46.5 million and a total contract of over $270 million overall,” Swartz wrote on April 7.

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