Jalen Brunson had a career year with the Dallas Mavericks last season, as he averaged 16.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field. As Luka Doncic’s sidekick, he helped the Mavs advance past the first round of the NBA playoffs for the first time in 11 years.
By now, everyone knows what happened next, as Brunson left Dallas for the New York Knicks in free agency after being offered a four-year contract worth more than $100 million.
Instead of being salty over the situation — after all, the Knicks are still under investigation by the league for tampering with Brunson — Mavs head coach Jason Kidd is proud to see his former player secure life-changing money.
“The biggest thing is I’m happy (Jalen) got paid. He helped us. I know (Mavericks owner Mark) Cuban doesn’t like this, but I love when I can get a player get paid,” said Kidd on the All the Smoke podcast.
Kidd also revealed how candid he is with his players before the season starts.
“I tell a player on the first day of camp, ‘Tell me what you want. Everyone wants shots. Everyone wants minutes. But that’s not the truth. They want to get paid and want to play,” said Kidd.
“Cool. I can help you do that. The other part of that is I’m going to ask for a couple of things. Trust, communicate and play hard. If you ask Brunson, he will tell you he listened and good things happened. I just want to put people in position to be successful.”
Kidd certainly put Brunson in a perfect position to be successful, and perhaps Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau can do the same this season as Brunson takes on bigger responsibilities. Although the Mavs would’ve loved to have kept Brunson, Kidd fully understands the business side of the league.
“There’s 30 companies in the NBA,” Kidd said. “We all can’t stay in the same company. For him to go to New York to get paid and an opportunity to run his own team. I’m happy for him.”
You can follow Dalton Trigg on Twitter at @dalton_trigg
Follow AllKnicks.com on Twitter.