Yahoo Sports senior NBA writer Vincent Goodwill spoke New York Knicks PG Jalen Brunson about his move to New York, his expectations for playing under Tom Thibodeau, and his excitement for the energy of the Knicks fanbase. Brunson joined Yahoo Sports on behalf Abbott Nutrition and Pedialyte.
VINCENT GOODWILL: Welcome to "Yahoo Sportsbook." I'm Vincent Goodwill here alongside new New York Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson. Jalen's with us on behalf of Abbott Nutrition and Pedialyte. He recently took part in a soccer clinic hosted by Abbott where he learned tricks and tips from Real Madrid coaches and legends.
Before we get to that, Jalen, just very curious, how excited are you for this upcoming season, being able to have the reins of the point guard spot for the New York Knicks, compared to your first few seasons, where you had to play alongside Luka Doncic?
JALEN BRUNSON: I'm very excited for the opportunity. It's gonna be great experience. Just being from down the road is really special. Being back on the East Coast is awesome.
I'm just really excited for the opportunity. But I am gonna miss Dallas. I'm definitely gonna miss Dallas, miss playing with Luka and all those guys down there. It was definitely a great experience. But I'm just really excited for this, and I think it's gonna great. And I can't wait to get the show rolling.
VINCENT GOODWILL: Now, you mentioned playing with Luka and missing playing him. With the Knicks, Julius Randle handles the ball a lot. You know, he's not necessarily a traditional point anything. He just-- he can control a lot of the offense.
How do you feel like that's going to work? Do you feel like that experience with Luka can help you there? Or do you hope to have the ball and initiate the offense a little bit more than maybe the Knicks had last year?
JALEN BRUNSON: Yeah. So, I mean, for me, I've always been a whatever-the-team-needs type a guy. So Julius is very capable of doing things, handling the ball and doing all that. So I'm not really worried about that as long as we're winning games.
Now, we've got to try and find ways to win games. And I think we have a very good opportunity to do so. It's gonna be different for me.
It's gonna be different for a lot of people. I've never backed down from a challenge ever. So I don't plan on doing it now.
VINCENT GOODWILL: Now, I've seen a few of you guys with the Knicks, you guys played in the pro-am a few days ago. What is different, when you're playing in a pro-am, what type of different basketball is it, and what is your level of intensity?
And are you just breaking a sweat, just trying to keep yourself in basketball shape? What is your thinking in that?
JALEN BRUNSON: For one, I mean, I wanted to play in New York and play in the pro-am, do something in New York, because it's kind of a great way for fans to kind of see you, maybe for people who can't really see you that often. So I think, for me, it was good. For all of us, it was good.
Obviously, we lost. The guys in the other team, they played really well. They were really excited. So props to them.
But I think, for me, it was definitely successful. I got to see the energy of New York. I got to see how fans are gonna be. So, I mean, if I can connect with the fans now, I think going down the road is gonna be special.
VINCENT GOODWILL: Now, I'm sure you've known Thibs for a long time. What do you think it's gonna be like to actually play for him? Because he can be hard on point guards. What do you think those conversations and interactions are gonna be like?
Because we all know Thibs can be a little crazy sometimes. Sometimes you got to block him out. But what is that experience gonna be like for you?
JALEN BRUNSON: Yeah, I don't think-- I don't think I'm ever gonna have to block him out. Obviously, Thibs is Thibs. I think, for me, I've learned how to carry the message out of everything.
So when someone is getting on you or someone's trying to motivate you to be better, you know, you can't really worry about if he's yelling, if he's screaming, or whatever. You've got to just take the message and keep it moving. That's the whole part of kind of being grown up and being a professional.
Everyone's trying to be on the same page to win games. So you've got to grab the message and keep pushing. I think, for me, knowing Thibs for a long time, he knows that I'm a person who I can be coached. I can be pushed.
I'm not really too worried about that. I'm actually very excited because the fact that this whole thing is coming full circle is actually really special.
VINCENT GOODWILL: I know you're here on behalf of Abbott Nutrition and Pedialyte. Very curious-- tell me about this one-day contract that you signed with Abbott and Real Madrid. What's that all about?
JALEN BRUNSON: Yeah, so I did a one-day contract with Real Madrid. I was able to go out there, kind of, you know, work on some soccer skills. I've been a soccer fan for a long time.
I was able to do that. Partnering with Abbott and Pedialyte really made it really special, being out in the heat and learning about dehydration and rehydration and things like that. I'm gonna need that in basketball and how to kind of rehydrate and be replenished and ready to go when things are, you know, when you're getting tired or you're feeling-- or you just know that you don't have that energy.
And so just learning about stuff like that is definitely gonna translate to basketball. But it was really cool and something that I'll probably never forget.
VINCENT GOODWILL: Jalen Brunson, thanks for joining us, man. We really, really appreciate it. Thanks for joining us here on Yahoo Sports.
Good luck next season. I'll be there to see you guys a few times. Scott Perry is one of my guys, the GM of the Knicks, man. He's really good people.
JALEN BRUNSON: Yeah, great people. I appreciate you, man. Thank you.