On trade deadline eve, the New York Knicks were at Villanova University for Jalen Brunson’s jersey retirement. During his three years as a Wildcat, Brunson was a two-time champion and is regarded as one of the best collegiate players of all time.
The universe has a funny way of working things out, and while Brunson was still at Villanova, the Knicks traded for Josh Hart. The 27-year-old spent four years at Villanova and his last two seasons lined up with Brunson’s first two seasons. The duo is officially back together.
Brunson’s reaction was the cherry on top of the trade. Standing in his Villanova letter jacket, Sam Rose (Leon Rose’s son) showed Brunson his phone with the news that New York had traded for his former teammate. Brunson’s eyes got wide as his mouth dropped and he said a four-letter word that can’t be repeated here. He took a few steps and threw his hands in the air and celebrated.
Former Villanova teammates Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart reunited with Knicks
Right before the trade was reported, Josh Hart was warming up on the court ahead of Portland’s game against Golden State. He was pulled to the side and then dapped up and hugged a few of his Blazers teammates before leaving the floor. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski then reported that Hart was headed to the Knicks.
Along with a 2023 lottery-protected first-round pick, the Knicks sent Cam Reddish, Svi Mykhailiuk, and Ryan Arcidiacono to the Blazers. It’s ironic that Arcidiacono was included in the deal, considering that he was a teammate of Brunson’s and Hart’s at Villanova, too. Brunson seems to be elated to team up with Hart again, but it must be bittersweet for him knowing that it came at the cost of losing Arcidiacono.
Mikal Bridges, another Villanova teammate, chimed in on Twitter once he saw the news.
It’s safe to say that Bridges might be feeling a little bit of FOMO right now, but he’s signed with the Suns through the 2025-26 season. New York and Phoenix won’t meet up in the regular season again, but it would be fun to get to see those three former Villanova teammates go at it.
Brunson and Hart won a title together in 2016, defeating North Carolina thanks to the infamous Kris Jenkins three-point buzzer-beater. Now, they’re back in action together on the same court that is the home of the BIG EAST Tournament.
Welcome, Josh. Knicks fans (and obviously Jalen) are happy to have you in New York.