Jalen Brunson: ‘People might not believe’ why I left Mavericks for Knicks

Jalen Brunson: ‘People might not believe’ why I left Mavericks for Knicks

At this time last year, Jalen Brunson thought he would be a Maverick for life. Or, at the least, through his next contract.

He was enjoying life in Dallas and expected to sign a contract extension with the team that selected him in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft and developed him into a strong NBA player.

But the offer didn’t come until after the trade deadline. By then, the former Villanova star, 25, was enjoying a breakout season.

“Business came knocking on the door,” the new Knicks point guard said Friday on the “Old Man and the Three” podcast. “It was time to just take a look. I had to do my due diligence and look and see what was out there. People might not believe it, I talked about it with my dad since year one or two, ‘Yeah, we’re going to be here for the rest of my career.’ That’s what I thought.”

It didn’t happen. The Knicks came calling, offering Brunson a whopping four-year, $104 million contract. Brunson laughed when asked if he ever dreamed of getting that kind of money at this time last year.

Jalen Brunson playing for the Mavericks on May 20, 2022.
AP

“No, not at all,” he said.

In fact, Brunson said the deal was double of what he was hoping to get from the Mavericks prior to last season.

There is some thought that the Knicks overpaid a player who just became a starter this past season. Brunson has heard it.

“It’s impossible not to see it,” he said. “Look, I’m honored I have gotten this opportunity, to be in that club making whatever number it is. But I think for me, no matter what the number is, nothing changes for me.

“The day of me agreeing to terms, signing, stuff like that, before I did any of that I got my work in. I’ve always been that way. I don’t plan on changing. It didn’t bother me. I’m going to be the same person no matter what.” 

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