Dallas Mavericks point guard Jalen Brunson was impressive in his rookie year, putting up 9.3 points, 3.2 assists, and 2.3 rebounds last season. He will be part of a team that intends to make the playoffs, and he’s working hard to be in the best version of himself next season.
Brunson has done a lot in just a short period of time, and he can’t help but relish every moment of it, considering the fact that a year ago, he was keeping his fingers crossed on draft night, hoping to be selected by any team.
It happened. He was picked by the Mavs at 33rd, and he called it one of the most special moments of his life, in his interview with Mavs.com’s Eddie Sefko.
“Being drafted into the NBA is probably one of the most emotional moments I’ve ever had. It kind of reminded me of when I won the national championship or the state championship. There’s like a burden lifted off you that you finally did something you’ve been dreaming of. I just thought about all the hard work I put in.
Brunson wasn’t the highlight of the Mavs’ draft night last year. It was the trade that sent Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic to Dallas in exchange for the team’s original pick Trae Young. Still, he’s thankful that he was drafted, but also understands the amount of hard work that comes along with it.
“One thing I’ll say, though, is that, once that night happened, the next day was like, all right, I’m at the bottom again. I got to work my way back up and keep getting better. It’s great getting drafted, but then you got to go back to work.”
Each and every player on the Mavs’ roster will be playing with a chip on their shoulders next season, and it’s a good thing that Brunson has the right approach and mindset. Dallas needs guys like him, youngsters who already understand their roles and are willing to do everything to get better.
If Brunson keeps this up, he’ll go a long way.