Stephen A. Smith Disagrees With His Own All-NBA Vote For Jalen Brunson

The 2024 All-NBA teams were announced on Wednesday night.

The 2024 All-NBA teams were announced on Wednesday night. As usual there were some disagreements about who deserved to be where and feelings that some people - like Jaylen Brown for example - were snubbed. On Friday morning the First Take crew discussed whether Jalen Brunson, who made All-NBA Second Team, actually deserved to be All-NBA First Team. Specifically, over Luka Dončić.

Stephen A. Smith, who has faced some criticism recently for ESPN's perceived over-coverage of the New York Knicks, laid out the case for Brunson being worthy of a slot of the first team. It wasn't the usual bombastic argument from Smith as actually revealed that he himself had actually voted Brunson on the second team.

"I wasn't shocked," said Smith, "But upon reflection, I definitely thought that Jalen Bruson deserved to be first team. Believe it or not, even ahead of Luka. Now I know that's sacrilegious. To be quite honest with you, I had Jalen Bruson second team, but I kind of regret doing that and here's the reason why..."

Smith went on to argue that Brunson had to do more on an injury-plagued Knicks team and then made his case for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also deserving a spot over Dončić. Here are the numbers for your consideration.

There's not much of a case for Brunson when you look at the numbers, so perhaps voters - like Stephen A. Smith - got this one right and critics - like Stephen A. Smith - just need to let it go. Making All-NBA Second Team is still pretty good. And there are lots of "deserving" players every year. As with most of these debates, it's just nitpicking and it's not unusual.

What is rare is a media member disagreeing with their own choice so publically. It's pretty clear Smith's vision is being clouded by what Brunson did in the postseason when he played so well with an even more depleted supporting cast while the Mavericks have stayed healthy and advanced. And while the Knicks were a higher seed, both teams finished the regular season with the same 50-32 record.

There's really no argument for Brunson. Unless you're willing to argue with yourself.

Stephen Douglas


Stephen Douglas is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in journalism and media since 2008, and now casts a wide net with coverage across all sports. Stephen spent more than a decade with The Big Lead and has previously written for Uproxx and The Sporting News. He has three children, two degrees and one now unverified Twitter account.