So Jalen Brunson left your favorite team for nothing in return. You’re probably going through some things. A wide range of emotions. That’s okay. It’s fine to have feelings. And Brunson leaving the Dallas Mavericks for the New York Knicks probably hit you right in the gut.
No worries. I’ve got some strategies to help you cope with the loss of the Mavericks’ second best player coming off their best season since 2011. Find the one that works for you, or drop your own in the comments below.
You can always pretend that losing a quality young player for absolutely nothing is no big deal. “Brunson isn’t even that good,” is something you can tell yourself, or your friends. You can even tweet it. It’s a well-used strategy. Just ignore the problem and hope it goes away. Just figure out a reason why the Dallas front office isn’t responsible for losing a valuable player and repeat that reason over and over again until you believe it. It will help you get through this.
The children are the future is what they say. So you can spend the next couple of months watching Jaden Hardy highlights and talk yourself into thinking that a rookie picked in the second round can replicate the production of Brunson. Is that unrealistic? Probably. But we’re coping here, and besides, Hardy seems to be the type of player to get excited about. When was the last time the Maverick drafted a guy in the second round and he turned into a first round talent? Probably Jalen Bru— oh, sorry. Well, anyway. Watch those highlights!
Just turn into a Rage Monster. It’s fine, for just a little while. By September you’ll be over it and ready to commit three to four nights per week to watching the Mavericks.
Watch some Jalen Brunson highlights
Sometimes it’s best to remember the good times. So pull up our buddy Panda Hank’s highlight reel of Brunson’s best plays from the last season and watch it a few times. Maybe shed a few tears, or just go ahead and sob uncontrollably while eating a cheesesteak over the kitchen sink while the video plays. That would be completely normal.
Fully invest yourself in Frank Ntilikina.
Become a Frank Ntilikina believer. Throw away all reason and tell yourself Frank will be able to take Brunson’s place. If people try to explain why he won’t with dumb things like statistics? Ignore that. Believe in Frank. (This is a really good follow up to Denial, by the way.)
Keep the mementos
Don’t throw away your Brunson jersey, or bash one of his bobbleheads with a baseball bat, or anything crazy like that. Please don’t be one of those fans. Brunson was part of a fun era of Dallas basketball that followed a pretty low period in Mavericks franchise history. However bad it is to lose him, he’s still one of the best and most fun players in the last decade of Mavericks basketball. Celebrate his time here as best you can.