In the two seasons they played together in college at Villanova, Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart went 77-9, won two Big East regular season championships, a Big East Tournament championship and the 2016 NCAA national championship. It's fitting, then, that Brunson was at his Villanova jersey retirement ceremony when he learned he would get to reuinte with Hart on the New York Knicks after a Wednesday night trade.
His reaction was priceless. Brunson was milling about when his agent Sam Rose, son of Knicks president Leon Rose, showed him the news on his phone. "Oh s---! Yes!" a wide-eyed Brunson yelled as he pulled out his phone and raised his arms in the air in triumph. He then went and showed the news to family and friends, all of whom were just as excited.
Jalen Brunson got his jersey retired at Villanova when he found out Knicks traded for his former college teammate Josh Hart 👏— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 9, 2023
We don't usually get to see a player's genuine reaction to a move their team makes, but this was perfect timing as the cameras were already all over Brunson for his big night. The result couldn't have been better if it was scripted. Brunson wasn't only thrilled because Hart is a good player, but because the two are close friends, who have supported each other throughout their professional journeys.
Just this month, Hart took to Twitter to give his take on the biggest snub from the All-Star Game in the Eastern Conference. His pick? Brunson.
Jalen Brunson https://t.co/9PUYzjVWtD— Josh Hart (@joshhart) February 3, 2023
It's a bit ironic that another of Brunson and Hart's teammates from that 2016 Villanova team, Ryan Arcidiacono, was also involved in the deal. He'll be going to the Trail Blazers along with Cam Reddish, Svi Mykhailiuk and a 2023 first-round pick, which is lottery protected and will turn into four second-round picks if it doesn't convey this year.