Josh Hart Tried to Recruit 6-Time All-Star to Join Knicks

Knicks' Josh Hart

Getty Josh Hart #3 of the New York Knicks reacts after scoring during the first half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden.

Josh Hart revealed in a CBS Sports interview that he tried to recruit six-time All-Star and former Villanova Wildcat Kyle Lowry to join the New York Knicks before the 18-year veteran guard signed with his hometown team, the Philadelphia 76ers.

“Yeah, I texted [Lowry],” Hart told CBS Sports’ James Herbert. “I told him, ‘Pull up.’ Told him, ‘(expletive) with us.’ But obviously that didn’t happen, so (expletive) him.”

According to the CBS report, Hart and Lowry have grown close together since they met in a summer pickup game when Hart was an incoming freshman at Villanova.

Lowry was one of the most sought-after free agents in the buyout market before he joined the 76ers. If Hart was successful, Lowry could have given the Knicks bench a major boost after last season’s 6th Man of the Year finalist Immanuel Quickley was traded as part of the OG Anunoby package.

Lowry would have been the fourth former Villanova roster, backing up another ex-Wildcat, first-time All-Star Jalen Brunson. But the lure of a Philadelphia homecoming was too good to pass up.

Lowry tormented the Knicks last playoffs when he was still with the Miami Heat. Lowry averaged 12.2 points, 5.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks off the bench against New York in Miami’s 4-2 series victory in the second round last year.

The Heat shipped him to the Charlotte Hornets for Terry Rozier at the trade deadline. Then after failing to re-route him in a separate trade, the Hornets bought him out, paving the way for him to return home to Philadelphia.

The 37-year-old Lowry, who won a championship with Toronto in 2019, is averaging 7.9 points, 5.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals with the 76ers.

Kyle Lowry Calls Jalen Brunson an All-NBA Guard

After Bleacher Reports’ Dan Favale, Lowry was the next to endorse Brunson to one of the three All-NBA Teams for the end-of-season awards.

Philadelphia’s defense gave credence to Lowry’s endorsement.

“Send bodies to him. Make him see bodies. He still got some and-ones. He still got some shots made, and he’s an All-NBA guy, an All-Star, a guy who’s gonna be a dominating presence in this league for a long time,” Lowry told reporters after their 79-73 win against the Knicks on March 10.

Their constant double teams held Brunson to 19 points on 6 of 22 shooting.

“That’s a tough team over there,” Lowry said. “They’ve got an All-NBA superstar who pretty much is gonna try to win the game and can win any game for them. And we just tried to limit him as much as possible, which is tough to do. We stuck to the game plan and stayed in our zone, and had big shots down the stretch. And Kelly Oubre Jr. has been playing his butt off.”

Brunson rebounded in their rematch two days later. The Knicks star rebounded with a 7 of 12 shooting night for 20 points in a dominant 106-79 win over Lowry and the 76ers on March 12.

Jalen Brunson Named Eastern Conference Player of the Week

Brunson won his third NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors this season after leading the Knicks to a 3-0 record for Week 21 (March 11-17).

The Knicks All-Star point guard averaged 35.7 points on 54.3% shooting and 5.0 assists.

Brunson scored 45 points in their 105-93 win in Portland on March 14 and 42 in their 98-91 win in Sacramento to become the only fourth player in the franchise history to record back-to-back 40-point games, joining Carmelo Anthony, Patrick Ewing and Bernard King.

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