Tim Hardaway Praises Knicks Guard Jalen Brunson, Throws Shade at Luka Doncic

Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks

Getty Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks looks on before the start of the game against the Brooklyn Nets.

Apparently, when Jalen Brunson departed from the Dallas Mavericks and inked a four-year, $104 million deal with the New York Knicks this past offseason, he took with him the brand of leadership that helped lead the club on a highly successful Western Conference Finals run.

At least, that’s what Tim Hardaway seems to believe.

During an April 5 appearance on The Carton Show, the NBA legend–whose son, Tim Hardaway Jr plays for Dallas–name-dropped the Knicks guard as being the leader that this current Mavs team finds itself missing amid their tumultuous 2022-23 campaign.

“Everybody wants to put it on Kyrie Irving, it’s not Kyrie’s fault…They’re missing a leader out there. Luka [Doncic] is not a leader, Kyrie is not a leader. Jalen Brunson was a leader,” Hardaway said.

Hardaway would go on to define a leader as someone who “talks to your team and makes sure that your team is doing what they’re actually supposed to do,” which is just one of many attributes Jalen Brunson has been praised for since joining the Knicks.

Tom Thibodeau Praises Jalen Brunson’s Impact on Knicks

Tim Hardaway is by no means the only person to have commented on the type of leadership that Jalen Brunson is capable of providing for a team. Earlier this week, his coach Tom Thibodeau was seen singing his praise at a media session held on Tuesday.

The headman would go as far as to note that when it comes to what Brunson has done for the Knicks during his first season with the club, he “couldn’t ask for anything more.”

“I think the impact that he’s made has been terrific and I think that if you really dig into his numbers you’ll see how much he’s improved,” Thibodeau said. “He’s made a quantum leap this year…he has all the attributes that you value…and he always puts the team first.”

Through 68 games played with New York, Jalen Brunson is sporting career-best averages virtually all across the board.

In 35.0 minutes a night, the 26-year-old is putting up 24.0 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 49.1% from the field and 41.6% from distance.

Luka Doncic Discusses Losing Jalen Brunson to Knicks

Luka Doncic made headlines earlier this week when he discussed his frustrations with the 2022-23 iteration of his Dallas Mavericks.

Particularly catching the ear of Knicks fans, when the superstar guard was asked if he and his teammates have missed Jalen Brunson’s presence throughout the season, he was rather straightforward with his response.

“A lot,” Doncic said when asked if he missed Jalen Brunson in Dallas. “I mean, amazing guy, amazing player. For sure.”

During the same post-practice media session, Doncic suggested that without Brunson and the supporting cast that he had around him last season, the Mavs have struggled with their on-court chemistry, stating: “that chemistry was at the top with everybody but, you know, chemistry builds and not right away, so it’s a long process.”

As things currently stand, Dallas boasts a sub-.500 record of 37-42 and are on the outside looking in on a play-in seed with just three games remaining in the regular season.