They needed a lead guard for years now, and he’s embraced that role with his head up, regardless of the naysayers and the criticism.
But as good as Brunson has been, some fans can’t help but feel sorry about missing out on Donovan Mitchell.
That includes ESPN pundit and well-known Knicks fan Stephen A. Smith, who was quite critical of the front office when Mitchell landed in Cleveland.
Mitchell and the Knicks had strong ties and the word around the league is that it was a matter of time before they struck a deal, as they had the best potential package to offer.
Now, months after no deal was done, Smith took to The Howard Stern show to explain why the Knicks couldn’t get it done.
Apparently, Danny Ainge and Jazz officers took offense on the fact that some members of the Knicks brass attended a Jazz game to recruit Mitchell, so it became personal:
“Howard, this is not college; it’s the pros. Okay? So, it offended the folks in Utah,” Smith explained. “And my sources told me Danny Ainge was like, ‘the last thing I’ll do is give them Donovan Mitchell; I don’t give a damn what they send.'”
Truth be told, the Knicks couldn’t have handled this any worse.
There was absolutely no need to attend a rival team’s game; they had everything they needed to see on film, and it’s not like Mitchell had never played against the Knicks.
Even so, it seems like this panned out very well for everybody involved.
The Knicks got a point guard who wants to be there, the Cavs have a rising star, and the Jazz landed a plethora of draft picks and young players.
But that’s just no way of doing business in the National Basketball Association.