Jalen Brunson made it pretty clear how excited he is to be reunited on the Knicks with his former Villanova teammate Josh Hart.
The Knicks point guard can be seen in a video being shown the news of the trade for the Blazers wing on someone’s phone after his Wildcats jersey was retired by the school on Wednesday night. Upon seeing that Hart would be heading to New York, Brunson’s mouth opened wide, jaw literally dropping as he could not contain his emotions.
“Oh s—t!” Brunson exclaimed as someone in the background called out, “The Knicks traded for Josh Hart.”
(Warning: Adult Language)
Brunson then reached for his phone, either to confirm the news or see if he had a message from Hart. Whatever he saw caused him to raise his hands in celebration and yell, “Yes!” as friends and family joined in the celebration with him in the upper level of Villanova’s Finneran Pavilion. Hart has since posted orange and blue hearts on his Twitter account.
Hart and Brunson were teammates together for two seasons at Villanova, winning the 2016 national championship. The former first-round pick of the Lakers is a solid two-way player averaging 9.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists this season for Portland.
To acquire Hart before Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline the Knicks shipped Cam Reddish, Svi Mykhailiuk, Ryan Arcidiacono and a lottery-protected, first-round pick to Portland. Reddish has found himself buried on coach Tom Thibodeau’s bench during his two seasons with the team.
Brunson has been everything the Knicks could have hoped for and more since signing a four-year, $104 million contract with the club this offseason. The 26-year-old point guard is averaging 23.2 points, 6.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds this season and has helped lead the Knicks to a 30-26 record, good for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.