It’s more than safe to assume Jalen Brunson was none too pleased at the New York Knicks’ performance on Saturday. They were blown out by Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in a matinee at Madison Square Garden, trailing by 32 points midway through the fourth quarter en route to 121-100 loss.
Just because Brunson was frustrated by the effort of his new team, though, hardly means the Knicks’ new point guard was too peeved to show some postgame love to his old one.
Jalen Brunson & Luka Doncic embrace 🫂pic.twitter.com/UhcsyFfNom
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) December 3, 2022
Brunson had 13 points, two rebound and three assists on 5-of-11 shooting. Doncic, meanwhile, dropped 30 points, eight rebounds and seven assists on 11-of-21 from the field, including 4-of-9 from deep, despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter with the Mavericks en route to surefire victory.
Brunson rocked the basketball world last summer, leaving Dallas in free agency to sign a four-year, $104 million deal with New York. His departure followed weeks of rumors about a supposed desire to play under his father, Rick, a Knicks assistant, and team with general Leon Rose, Brunson’s godfather.
The Mavericks could’ve matched or exceeded the contract he signed with the Knicks, but ultimately decided to let their second-best player on last season’s run to the Western Conference Finals walk as a free agent. Brunson’s exit came a year after Dallas refused to offer him a desired four-year, $55 million extension, a deal that would’ve been among the league’s biggest bargains given his subsequent breakout campaign in 2021-22.
The Mavericks have struggled to replace Brunson as a reliable second option behind Doncic, who’s put up otherworldly numbers this season but once again boasts a sky-high usage rate that’s in the past proven untenable against elite postseason competition.
Dallas sits at 11-11, ninth in the Western Conference.
Maybe Brunson and Doncic were lamenting the end of their partnership during that on-court chat? Mavericks fans certainly are.