Jalen Brunson is an out and proud Belieber.
“I wasn’t always a Bieber fan,” the 26-year-old said in an interview with the Knicks digital team.
But with some coaxing from his younger sister, Erica who was a “Bieber fan from the beginning,” the Jersey-born sharpshooter started to understand and later embrace the power of the Canadian pop sensation.
“I remember he came out with an album in 2015,” he said of “Purpose,” which featured the formerly shaggy haired singer’s smash hit, “What Do You Mean.”
“And my sister, this is kind of toward the time where me and my sister started to actually became friends, like actually talk. She was like ‘hey, you have to listen to this album.’”
At first Brunson, who would go on to win two national championships with Villanova, refused to lend his ear to the “Baby” singer. But “somehow, someway, I started listening to it. It was really good,” he recalled.
“I’m like alright this is good stuff, I’ll listen to it.”
But Bieber unexpectedly became Brunson’s lucky charm and a compulsory part of his pregame routine after one of the singer’s songs popped on his playlist before a Wildcats match up.
“Then we won that game, so I thought, ‘is this, like, a thing?’” he said. “So now since college, I have to listen to at least one Bieber song before every game. I don’t know how but it’s a thing. Then I became an actual fan.”
Brunson — whom the Knicks signed to a four-year, $104 million deal in July — brings to his squad not only an unorthodox taste in music but also a level of confidence and self awareness.
“I know who I am as a person. I’m a leader. I’m a guy who works hard. Will do anything it takes to win. Sacrifice a lot. So that’s who I am…I want to earn that respect,” he said.
The 6-foot-2 former Dallas Maverick also said that remaining hungry drives him to constantly improve his game.
“If, I know, I start to feel satisfied, I know someting is wrong,” he quipped.