Jalen Brunson took a deep reflection in his time in Dallas and his camp’s failed attempts to initially tie themselves up for extended years.
Brunson told Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes that he was already looking to commit himself to the Mavericks, but the club was uninterested in hammering a deal.
“There were two times that I thought we had offers on the table before the season, and then around, I think December or January, they looked the other way,” Brunson said. “They had every right in the world to do so. I don’t blame them for making any business decisions. That’s on them.”
As noted by Haynes, the Mavs got their first chance to regain Brunson with a $55.5 million rookie scale extension in the 2021 offseason. The brass of the explosive guard was already willing to take it, but the Mavs insisted on finalizing the pact.
As such, Brunson ultimately blossomed his game in the 2021-22 season. He went on to become a perfect backcourt mate of Luka Doncic, averaging 16.3 points, 4.8 assists, 3.9 boards in 50.2 percent shooting.
With the Mavs managing to qualify for the playoffs, he further elevated his offensive output to 21.6 points average and shot 46.6 percent from the field. His contributions helped the club to eventually reach the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2011.
This breakout year he enjoyed ultimately allowed him to accept a bigger role and money as he entered free agency last year. He then opted to leave Texas and head to the New York Knicks on a four-year deal worth $104 million.
Amid the parting ways that happened, Brunson is nothing but appreciative of the chance he achieved in Dallas that helped him thrive to become who he is today as the star point man of the Knicks.
“At the same time, I respect them,” Brunson told Haynes.. “They brought me into this league and jump-started my career. Business is business. My four years in Dallas were special. When I first got drafted there, I had that mindset of seeing myself being there for a very long time. My vet at the time, J.J. Barea, he taught me so much and he was there for such a long time. I wanted that role of being with the Mavericks for the long haul of my career. I truly loved that place. As I continued to get older, I got better, and I got more opportunities to showcase my game.
“Both coaching staffs I had there were amazing. Jason Kidd helped unlock something in me that I didn’t think would happen that fast. I was growing as a player, but when the playoffs hit, he pushed me to a new level. It was great there. The whole organization and the city of Dallas was special to me and my family. Those four years were amazing.”