Luka Doncic is 'really happy' for star who left the Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

For a while, it seemed like the Dallas Mavericks had their backcourt of the future. Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson teamed up in the 2021-22 season to lead the squad to a Western Conference Finals berth, where they lost to eventual champions, the Golden State Warriors.

However, the franchise's plans were nipped in the bud after the then-25-year-old Brunson opted to sign with the New York Knicks in the following offseason, leaving Doncic alone to lead Dallas to an uncertain future and the organization wondering if it would regret not overpaying to retain the former second-round pick.

The Mavs ended up with a losing record in the 2022-23 campaign, while the Knicks reached the playoffs, where they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round. This year, Dallas bounced back, while Brunson became an MVP candidate.

Luka Doncic is 'really happy' for Jalen Brunson

Despite the aborted partnership, Doncic said he is "really happy" for his former teammate, who has been on a tear in the playoffs.

The Slovenian superstar must have been too busy to watch other postseason games. After all, the Mavs needed six games to eliminate the LA Clippers in the first round, and he has been dealing with a concerning knee injury, which could end up impacting his performance in the conference semifinals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

On the other side of the conference, Brunson has put up four straight 40-point performances while averaging 8.5 assists per game. As a result, the Knicks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round and are up 1-0 against the Indiana Pacers in their current series. He has also risen to third in our most recent NBA MVP power rankings, the highest among all Eastern Conference players.

Brunson's superstar turn may have had some people wondering, though, how things would have turned out had he chosen to re-sign with the Mavericks in 2022. Having two ball-dominant players hasn't exactly been a recipe for success in the league, although the stars showed no problems co-existing before parting ways.

In addition, had Brunson not moved to greener pasture, Dallas likely wouldn't have gotten Kyrie Irving last year. 

Whether which of the two scoring guards is better at this point in their careers is up for debate, but there is no denying how impressive the chemistry between Irving and Doncic has been. The duo has proven plenty of pundits wrong, including Shaquille O'Neal, whose painfully wrong take about the Mavs stars having trouble working well together aged poorly.

While it would have been nice to see Doncic and Brunson grow together, Irving has more than made up for the latter's absence.

For all the latest on Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks, stay tuned with us.