Subtweets and trolling lead antics from the "Villanova Knicks"

ByBrianna Williams ESPN logo
Sunday, March 10, 2024

Planning a trip with a group of friends can be challenging enough, but the New York Knicks might have the blueprint.

Led by college teammates-turned-friends-turned-NBA teammates, Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo have helped the Knicks to a top-five standing in the Eastern Conference as they play the Philadelphia 76erson Sunday (7 p.m. EST on ESPN).

The trio spent two seasons together on the Villanova Wildcats, where they won an NCAA national championship in 2016.

The following year, Hart was selected in the first round of the NBA draft by the Utah Jazz before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Then Brunson and DiVincenzo won another national title together in 2018. The duo joined the Dallas Mavericks and Milwaukee Bucks, respectively, in that year's draft.

Brunson was the first of the bunch to arrive in the Big Apple after signing with the Knicks in the 2022 offseason. A four-team trade involving the Portland Trail Blazers, Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers and Charlotte Hornetsthen sent Hart to New York in February 2023.

The group was fully reunited when DiVincenzo signed a four-year deal with the Knicks in July 2023. Former Villanova teammate Ryan Arcidiacono was also part of the Knicks this season, briefly making the group a foursome, but he was traded to the Detroit Pistons last month.

Plenty of trolling has ensued before and since the "Villanova Knicks" reconnected on the NBA hardwood. Here are some highlights from their reunion:

'F---in' loser'

Brunson made his first All-Star appearance this season after averaging a career high of 27.2 points per game. The guard narrowly missed out on being voted an All-Star starter. Hart had an unsympathetic reaction when he found out Brunson wasn't named a starter.


The Knicks' acquisition of Malachi Flynn in a trade centered around OG Anunoby led to a funny comparison on social media. Someone put together Flynn and DiVincenzo's faces to reference Super Mario characters Luigi and Waluigi.

Brunson could only say "Omg" when he saw the pictures.

'Look how happy he is'

Brunson had a viral reaction to the Knicks trading for Hart in February 2023, yelling "oh s---" and pumping his fist. Seated next to his new teammate after Hart's first game with New York, Brunson was asked about his reaction.

It prompted Hart to pull out his phone and show a screenshot of the two FaceTiming after the trade became official, adding, "Look how happy he is."

'Should have been 20'

When Hart was still with the Trail Blazers, he snatched a career-high 19 rebounds against the Knicks in November 2022 at Madison Square Garden. Hart felt he should've had 20, retroactively blaming his future teammate on X, formerly Twitter, for handicapping his stats.

'Bro it was a typo'

Less than a year before being reunited in New York, Hart and Brunson were still bantering with each other online. Hart made fun of Brunson's head again, prompting the then-Mavericks guard to threaten to expose Hart's nickname. Hart cleverly blamed his insult on a typo.