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Knicks’ Jalen Brunson didn’t enjoy NBA free agency

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Jalen Brunson was paid exceedingly well, and he wound up at his preferred destination, but the method wasn’t to his liking. 

“Free agency was type of awful, how public it got,” the Knicks’ recent point guard said. 

Brunson said loads of things that were reported weren’t true, though he declined to enter specifics. After spending the primary 4 years of his profession with the Mavericks, he signed with the Knicks on a four-year, $104 million contract, joining former agent and current team president Leon Rose and his father, Rick Brunson, who was added as an assistant to teach Tom Thibodeau’s staff in June. The NBA is currently investigating the Knicks for tampering, but Brunson said the league hasn’t contacted him. 

“My response to the league investigating? I didn’t really have one,” said the 26-year-old southpaw, who earned the massive pay day after his breakout postseason through which he averaged 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and three.7 assists. “Nothing really to analyze.” 

Playing for the Knicks will probably be a full-circle experience. As a young kid growing up in southern Latest Jersey, Brunson attended Knicks games on the Garden — Rick played for them back then — and he spent loads of time around Thibodeau and Derrick Rose once they were with the Bulls and Rick was an assistant coach. Now they’re all a part of the identical organization. 

Jalen Brunson got a large free agent deal from the Knicks, however the experience was not something he enjoyed.Robert Sabo

“It’s just a chance I couldn’t pass up,” Brunson said, referring specifically to his dad coaching him with the Knicks. “It’s something you simply see in movies and stuff like that. I’m really excited for him to be on the bench.” 

Knicks fans are only as enthusiastic about Brunson, who they hope can answer the franchise’s point guard drought. Despite his big contract, Brunson doesn’t imagine there may be any extra pressure on him to provide. He’s not going to vary anything about his preparation or mentality. 

“I believe I said this some time ago, I’m not a savior in any way, shape or form,” he said. “I just need to have the ability to contribute to a team, attempt to help this team win games.” 

What’s happening on and off the Garden court

Enroll for Contained in the Knicks by Marc Berman, exclusively on Sports+.

Unlike Brunson, Mitchell Robinson had a blast in free agency, comparing it to his experience within the NBA draft. When he got word of the Knicks’ offer, Robinson was on the beach and celebrated his decision to re-sign for 4 years and $60 million by going for a swim. 

“I feel like they showed me some loyalty principally,” the 7-footer said. “With that, I actually have to come back out here and play to a level that’s the explanation they [brought me back].” 

Robinson talked about expanding his offensive game, adding a jump hook and baby jumper to his rim-running, shot-blocking repertoire. His immediate focus, though, is on improving his free throw shooting and conditioning. 

“I don’t feel like I proved myself yet. I still got so much to do,” Robinson said. “I actually have so much to still work on.”

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