There are fewer things that stir the emotion more than witnessing your favorite sports team suffer a heartbreaking defeat. So with the New York Knicks in “desperation” mode, with rumors swirling around that head coach Tom Thibodeau is in the hot seat following a string of inconsistent performances, Julius Randle knew exactly how to get the best out of his point guard Jalen Brunson.

Brunson has been outspoken of his love for the Philadelphia Eagles in the past, and he even engaged in a bit of a friendly banter with former teammate Luka Doncic when his Eagles beat the Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles, led by Jalen Hurts, have been the NFL’s best team thus far, record-wise, and entered their Monday night game against the Washington Commanders with a spotless 8-0 record.

However, the Commanders ended up upsetting the Eagles, 32-21, for their first defeat of the season, and Julius Randle knew exactly what to do to light a fire under Jalen Brunson during the Knicks’ publicized players-only dinner to recollect themselves following a 145-135 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“Just got together, spent a little time with each other off the court, watched the football game, watched the Eagles lose, so a great day,” Randle said when asked about what transpired during their team dinner, per Steve Popper.

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And perhaps Randle’s light-hearted provocations worked! Brunson ended up dropping 25 points and 8 assists in the Knicks’ 118-111 victory over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, which put the Knicks at 7-7 on the season.

However, Jalen Brunson has torched the Jazz before, most memorably during the Dallas Mavericks’ 2022 playoff run, so the 26-year old southpaw may not have needed any added motivation to perform the way he did. But it’s hard to argue with these kinds of results.