DALLAS (AP) — Jalen Brunson missed his first Dallas reunion after the New York Knicks point guard was ruled out of a meeting with the Mavericks with a sore right hip.
The club announced the decision not long before the start of Tuesday night’s game. Brunson played when the Knicks lost to the Mavericks 121-100 in New York in early December. The rematch was his first missed game of the season.
Brunson was drafted in the second round by Dallas in 2018, the same year Mavs superstar Luka Doncic went third overall.
A two-time NCAA champion at Villanova, Brunson grew into quite the sidekick for Doncic before signing with the Knicks as a free agent this past summer.
Wearing a baby blue hoodie on the Knicks bench, Brunson watched a tribute video after the first quarter and waved to the cheering crowd afterward. He hugged several members of the Dallas staff on his way to the locker room at halftime.
Brunson played a pivotal role in the Mavericks winning a first-round series against Utah last season when Doncic missed the first three games in the six-game series due to a calf strain.
The Mavericks reached the Western Conference finals, losing to Golden State, which won the title.
Brunson blossomed as a starter alongside Doncic in coach Jason Kidd’s Dallas debut last season, but was interested in being the lead point guard somewhere else.
Brunson had strong ties to the Knicks. His dad, Rick Brunson, is an assistant coach and former player for New York. His dad’s agent, Leon Rose, is president of the Knicks.
New York played in Dallas six days after the NBA docked the club a second-round pick in the 2025 draft for engaging in talks with Brunson before free agency opened June 30.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports