Mark Cuban still seems a bit salty over Jalen Brunson’s move to New York. The star guard moved on from the Mavericks this past offseason, opting instead to sign a deal with the Knicks.
That move has paid off for Brunson, who now finds himself primed for a playoff run in the Big Apple. The Knickerbockers are locked into the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference at 47-33.
The Mavs, however, find themselves in turmoil.
Dallas made a run to the Western Conference Finals in 2022 before falling to the Warriors in five games. While most didn’t expect the Mavericks to take Golden State down in that Finals matchup, it showed that they were just a piece or two away from their next NBA crown.
Kyrie Irving was expected to be that missing piece as Dallas went out to nab the point guard at the trade deadline. Since, though, they’ve been in a downward spiral.
In the 25 games following the deadline, the Mavs are just 9-16.
It’s been glaringly obvious that the team misses Jalen Brunson, who’s been able to elevate his current roster. Dallas may now be regretting that move to let Jalen Brunson walk.
Of course, there was more to that negotiation than just numbers. Dallas found itself in a tough spot due to a few different reasons.
First, the Brunson family has direct ties to the Knicks organization. Jalen’s godfather is Leon Rose, New York’s team president. He was also Jalen’s first agent.
Rose hired Brunson’s father, Rick, as an assistant coach prior to free agency.
Secondly, the Mavs would’ve needed to get rid of someone on the roster in order to up their original offer of four years, $56M due to salary cap issues.
While a combination of things led to the parting, Mavs ownership pinpoints one key cog. Mark Cuban had some things to say about those dealings, shifting blame to Jalen Brunson’s family for the negotiations in Dallas falling through.
More specifically, Cuban blasted Brunson’s father for the move to New York.
“Where it went south was when Rick [Brunson] took over, when the parent took over, or parents took over,” Cuban said. “I think just the New York thing is too tied to their family to overcome.”
“We thought that we could turn him around. We wanted to re-sign him, and we wanted to keep the season going together… It was only the parents that were the issue.”
In the end, Brunson wound up with the Knicks, where he’s thrived. Dallas, meanwhile, is a shell of the team from last year’s magical run.