Kris Jenkins and Josh Hart, who won a national championship with Brunson during the point guard’s freshman year at Villanova, responded to Cuban’s tell-all interview.
“Man, the lies… You refused to offer him the contract he asked you multiple times. This is sick behavior, Mark [Cuban],” Jenkins said on an April 5 Tweet.
Jenkins hit the game-winning three-point shot during Brunson’s first NCAA championship run with Villanova in 2016.
On the other hand, Hart told reporters before their 113-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans last Friday that Brunson is not bothered by Cuban’s comments.
“Jalen’s a smart dude. Jalen knows the situation he was in the best,” Hart said. “If you know JB, JB is someone who is fun-loving, someone who has been around the business, obviously with his dad being in the league. The coolest thing about their relationship is that Jalen is his own person. He makes his own decisions. I don’t think he’s really worried too much about those comments. I think he’s very happy with where is right now. I Think he’s very happy being here.”
During Wednesday’s surprise presser, Cuban pinned the blame on Brunson’s father, Rick, for messing up the negotiations.
“Things went south when [Jalen Brunson’s] parents got involved,” Cuban was quoted saying.
Cuban also adamantly denied Brunson father-and-son’s claim that they were willing to sign the $55.5 milliom, four-year extension before the trade deadline. He also added they were never given a chance to negotiate a new deal during the free agency period.
Brunson eventually signed a $104 million, four-year deal with the New York Knicks, the largest contract earned by a second-round pick in league history.
Brunson and the Mavericks have gone opposite direction since their “messy divorce.”
Brunson became the difference-maker and leader of the Knicks, who will return to the playoffs after missing last year.
On the flip side, the Mavericks have struggled to fill Brunson’s void and they officially bowed out of playoff contention following their bizarre 115-112 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Friday.
Luka Doncic-Jalen Brunson Reunion in the Works?
The Mavericks series of swings and misses could lead to eventual departure of their superstar Luka Doncic.
ESPN’s Mavericks insider Tim MacMahon reported on Friday that “Doncic could consider requesting a trade as soon as the summer of 2024 if Dallas doesn’t make significant progress by then.”
This came on the heels of Doncic’s recent remarks about how they miss Brunson amid their struggles to build chemistry this season.
The Knicks are in a great position to trade for Doncic if he becomes available.
Jalen Brunson Surprised at Mavericks’ Struggles
Jalen Brunson is shocked as everyone else at Mavericks’ disappointing season.
“I am surprised. I honestly have no comment about that. It’s definitely surprising,” Brunson said.
While he flourished with the Knicks, his former team struggled at finding his replacement who can effective co-exist with Doncic.
Spencer Dinwiddie did not last until the trade deadline and was swapped for Kyrie Irving. But even Irving’s star power couldn’t save the Mavericks from sinking in the Western Conference.