As everyone loves to say this time of year when NBA free agents are up for grabs, “it’s a business.”
No matter how much time and resources are invested in developing a player over a period of multiple years, it can all be gone in a flash … and there might not be anything you can do about it.
This is what the Dallas Mavericks experienced, as four-year guard Jalen Brunson decided to leave the only professional team he’s ever played for to join the New York Knicks. Although the Mavs could’ve paid Brunson more than what the Knicks gave him — $104 million over four years with incentives— they couldn’t compete with the strong family ties he had with New York.
On Saturday, Brunson gave his emotional farewell to the Mavericks, as well as the fan base:
“Dallas, thank you for everything! You have embraced me from the moment you drafted me. You believed in me and were able to watch me grow as a person and a player. This city will forever hold a special place in my heart. Thank you Mark, Nico, kidd, and the rest of the coaching staff for putting me in a position to succeed,” wrote Brunson in an Instagram post.
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“My teammates, without you none of this would possible. You guys made my life easier on the court but you all were better people off of it. I couldn't be more thankful for the training staff, strength and conditioning staff, and the rest of the organization with their unconditional love and support.”
Given that Brunson is a Philadelphia Eagles fan, there has always been some friendly back-and-forth banter between him and Mavs fans who were also fans of the Dallas Cowboys. This rivalry was present in his relationship with Luka Doncic as well, as he once lost a bet when the Cowboys beat the Eagles and had to wear a No. 77 Cowboys jersey that said “Luka’s Son” on the back.
Brunson went on to salute Mavs fans … even the ones who hated his beloved Eagles:
“Lastly, the fans. You guys have been there every step of the way with me. Thank you for making my experience in Dallas incredible. Even if most of you are Cowboys fans, you guys accepted an Eagles fan without hesitation (I hope) Thank you for everything. Always Love.”
Not only is Brunson an outstanding basketball player, but he’s also an outstanding person as well. His “immaculate vibes,” both on and off the court, will be sorely missed in Dallas. We wish him nothing but the best as he opens up his next chapter with the Knicks.