Rick Brunson is finalizing a deal to become an assistant coach with the Knicks, reports Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Brunson was formerly an assistant under Tom Thibodeau in Chicago and Minnesota, and has deep ties to the Knicks’ head coach, as Begley notes.
Brunson is the father of Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson, whom the Knicks have reportedly expressed interest in. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but the Mavs have repeatedly expressed optimism about re-signing him.
The elder Brunson played nine seasons in the NBA (from 1997-2006), and holds a total of seven seasons worth of experience as an assistant coach, with a couple of other stops in Denver and Charlotte. Brunson was also one of Leon Rose‘s first clients when he was an agent — Rose is now the president of the Knicks.
In 2018, Brunson resigned as an assistant for the Timberwolves after allegations of improper conduct toward women, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.
“We work to maintain high standards of conduct and expect our staff to lead by example. We did not believe Mr. Brunson’s conduct was consistent with those standards,” the team said, as part of a larger statement. Brunson and his lawyer denied any wrongdoing.
The 49-year-old has served as the head coach of Camden High School for the past three years, winning a New Jersey state championship in 2022. He’s known as a player development guru and will likely work regularly with the young players on New York’s roster.