Jalen Brunson’s father Rick Brunson has just joined on as an assistant coach on Tom Thibodeau’s team with the New York Knicks, as Jalen Brunson plans to enter unrestricted free agency this offseason.
This relationship will just add gasoline to the fire, as the Knicks need a starting point guard. They have been believed to be willing to sign Brunson as a free agent. Rick’s inclusion in the training staff has more to do with his previous links to coach Thibs than Jalen’s free agency choice. Brunson and Thibodeau met in high school in 1991 when Brunson was playing for Salem High School and Thibs was coaching nearby at Salem State. There have been numerous connections between them, but Brunson also served under Thibodeau in two different NBA franchises.
From 2010 to 2012, he was with the Chicago Bulls, and from 2016 to 2018, he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, Brunson’s second term was overshadowed by criticism after he resigned over claims of inappropriate behavior with women.
Brunson hadn’t been hired elsewhere in the NBA for the past three years, or anywhere except under Thibs since 2013. This incident, as well as others in his past, could be a big contributor in why he hadn’t been offered a job in the NBA for the past three years or anywhere other than under Thibs since 2013. Brunson has been instructing at Camden High School in Camden, New Jersey, since 2019.
It’s the first occasion Brunson has been on an NBA team since his son was drafted in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft. However, it doesn’t guarantee Jalen Brunson will join the Knicks right away.
Brunson walks like a free agent and a handsome offer from the Knicks will not be refused by him. For Jalen having his father on the team is unlikely to have a significant impact on his long-term outlook.