Jalen Brunson received a standing ovation from the New York home crowd as he stepped onto the court alongside teammates Julius Randle and Obi Toppin . I wasn't wearing blue and orange.
Instead, the 25-year-old guard wore a purple jersey with the word "Procity" spread across his chest. His New York City debut didn't materialize in front of thousands of screaming fans at Madison Square Garden, but HOSTOS in the Bronx, where hundreds gathered at his college facility, "The Swamp." Fans welcomed him warmly.
Branson, Randall and Toppin made cameos at the Nike ProCity Playoffs (the premier indoor basketball league based in the Big Apple) on Monday night as the hopeful Knicks asked his fans what the future holds. I got a glimpse of what
Minutes after the first whistle blew, the trio played the first of many highlights of the night. While running points on fast break, Branson threw the ball behind his back to Randle. Randle stood defenseless a few feet behind the three-point line. His shot ricocheted harmlessly behind the rim, but was surrounded by high-flying Toppins who slammed the ball in and sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Toppin continued to torment Lim early in the mid-contest It recorded 11 points in the first quarter. The 24-year-old forward picked up his ball loose in the middle of the court and landed his signature groin dunk right after he returned another one of his shots from a teammate, hitting the rim. Almost tore up, tore up the entire roof. in the process.
Branson scored his third straight soft finish at the rim in the second quarter, pulling the team 35-38 to within three points of his lead. His new Knicks chemistry with his teammates is hard to miss. Former Maverick threw Nolook behind his pass to Toppin, who finished the dish with a two-handed slam.
When the two ran side by side just after the break, Branson tried to dunk, but realized he wasn't tall enough. He settled for an awkward layup instead, making himself and Toppin laugh out loud.
Randle also got in on the fun, deploying a stutter step move in the corner, breaking a defender's ankle and easily dunking along the baseline.
The Knicks star entered halftime one point behind him, with the score he trailing 52-53. After a strong start to the second half featuring two deep threes by Randle and Branson, they took their first lead of the game at 60–59.
Tensions began to build late in the third quarter after an opposing player finished in Randle's face and succumbed to a Knicks big man. Some light push followed, to the delight of the fans in attendance, and play soon followed.
Randall soon finds himself in another sticky situation. I was. Looking to block the opposing team's point guard, he went up with the shooter but got a foul and landed hard on the court. After a few seconds on the ground, Randle was able to walk off on his own and stay in the game.
The Knicks starter played well throughout the contest, but he lost by a final score of 110-97. Toppin led the way with his 25 points, followed closely by Branson with his 24 and Randle with his 18.
After the game, Nike Pro City his director Bernard his Bowen praised the Knicks' trio for their stellar performance.
"It's a playoff vibe and New York City is bragging rights. The guys want to come out and put everything on the floor and put on a good show for the city." "There are a lot of kids [here] who don't get the chance to go to a Knicks game, so it's nice that they can come and play in an atmosphere where kids can play for free."