Luka Doncic Shares Honest Opinion Of Jalen Brunson

Luka Doncic, Jalen Brunson, Mavericks, Knicks, NBA
Dec 27, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) speaks with New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) after the game at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

One of the players who have emerged as a star in the NBA during the 2023-24 regular season is New York Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson. He made a decision to leave the Dallas Mavericks as a free agent in 2022, seeking his own team to lead, and to this point, the decision has been a good one.

Brunson put himself on the map by helping lead the Knicks to the Eastern Conference semifinals last season. This season, he has been named an All-Star for the first time in his career and putting up career stats across the board.

This ascension isn’t something many people saw coming. When the deal between Brunson and the Knicks was announced, many people thought it was a bad signing. It was called an overpay by many analysts, who have quickly been proven wrong as Brunson now has arguably the most valuable non-rookie contract in the NBA.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jalen Brunson, Luka Doncic, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks Updates

There certainly weren’t many people who predicted this kind of improvement from Brunson and the Knicks, and certainly not this fast. But, one person not among the naysayers is his former Mavericks teammate, Luka Doncic.

Before facing off against the Knicks last week at Madison Square Garden, Doncic made an appearance on The Old Man & The Three Podcast with former NBA player, J.J. Redick. One of the things Doncic was asked about was Brunson and if he was surprised that he would be this good.

Without hesitation, Doncic said he knew Brunson would be this good. He cited the approach Brunson took to the court when they became teammates following him being selected in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft. His work ethic and the effort he put in to improve stood out to Doncic early on.

During the podcast, Doncic recalled the exact moment he knew Brunson was capable of accomplishing great things on the court. During the 2022 postseason, Doncic was injured and had to sit out games against the Utah Jazz.

Down 1-0, the Mavericks needed someone to step up to replace the production Doncic brought to the court. That person was Brunson, who scored 41 points with eight rebounds and five assists, two steals and zero turnovers in a magnificent performance.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jalen Brunson, Luka Doncic, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks Updates

““…That playoff run (2022)…Utah…2d game…he had 45…needed a win no matter what…I was on the bench watching ‘whoa’ …[&] the way he worked…” Doncic said.

Brunson helped Dallas to a 2-1 series lead over the Jazz, forever changing the trajectory of both franchises. Just a few weeks later, Brunson was signing a free agent deal with the Knicks and the Jazz began their teardown, trading away Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Bojan Bogdanovic and Royce O’Neale.

The Mavericks were up-ended by the eventual NBA Champion Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals that year. It was the first time we saw Brunson show what he was capable of as the lead option on the court, something we are now seeing on a nightly basis with the Knicks.

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