For the Knicks’ Julius Randle and Tom Thibodeau, it’s good to see old friends Reggie Bullock, Frank Ntilikina, Jalen Brunson

As the Knicks have been trying to copy last season’s success, a reminder came to the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night.

Mavs came to town without Kristaps Porzingis, who remains in the NBA’s health and safety records, but with two defensive tackles from last year’s team – Reggie Bullock and Frank Ntilikina.

“With guys you trained and played with, there’s a fraternity and appreciation for them,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “They are great guys with great character, hard workers. They are team oriented but really good people. It’s good to see those guys.”

Julius Randle, who has been struggling lately, spoke on Tuesday about his excitement at seeing Bullock again, who he was close to during their time in New York.

“You must definitely be amazing,” he said when he saw Bullock. “Just with the relationship we had here. It’s clear he was great for us. He’s a great teammate and I’m happy to see him play well over there, especially lately. Every time I watch my old teammates, it’s always love, especially when he was a guy on our team last year. We’re all texting now. I think we’ll be tied together forever. It’s definitely going to be nice to see him . “

Older ties

More than just spending a season together, Thibodeau remembers his start with Mavs guard Jalen Brunson.

“What do I think of Jalen?” said Thibodeau. “I think of when he was a little kid who used to come in and practice. He used to imitate Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell. He was about six years old. And just to follow his career and what he’s done , it is not surprising.

“Obviously I was in Chicago in his high school part of his career. Then I went on to Villanova, and now the professionals. His father [former Knick Rick Brunson] had a similar path – he was a high school All-American, great career in Temple and then carved out his niche in the NBA. And Jalen is a much better player than his father. It’s a great story. His mother has done a good job. A wonderful family.

“It’s a reminder that you’re getting old when you start seeing their kids,” he added. “But it’s amazing. You always enjoy seeing it. Especially the success he has. But it’s also how he is as a person, how he carries himself.”


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