Hart quickly invited Lillard to celebrate Christmas at his Westchester home after their Christmas game.
Hart and the Knicks will host Lillard and his new team on Christmas Day. The Knicks-Bucks game at Madison Square Garden will be the curtain-raiser of the four-bill NBA Christmas Games.
On Wednesday, the Portland Trail Blazers sent Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team trade with the Phoenix Suns.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the full details of the trade are as follows:
Bucks receive Damian Lillard
Blazers receive Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, 2029 first-round Bucks pick, pick swaps in 2028 and 2030
Suns receive Jusuf Nurkic, Nassir Little, Keon Johnson, Grayson Allen
Hart and Lillard played briefly together in Portland before Hart was shipped to New York at the last February trade deadline. Lillard, who learned about Hart’s trade during their warmups, was stunned when Hart was sent out of Portland.
“I tripped on it for a little bit,” Lillard said after the trade was consummated before a home against the Golden State Warriors on February 9.
“It’s tough. I think for everybody who’s been here, the entire time that I’ve been here, one of the hardest parts is when you form a friendship or form a bond with somebody. Everybody’s looking at, what are they doing on the court? What can they do to get better? Everybody else is looking at it from a business standpoint and how to improve and all these things.”
Lakers Legend Interested to Buy Knicks Ownership Stakes
After buying a stake in NFL’s Washington Commanders, Los Angeles Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson is entertaining the possibility of becoming a part-NBA owner and breaking his loyalty to the purple and gold.
“I think it would be intriguing,” Johnson said in an interview with The Associated Press. “The only team I would actually probably think about is the New York Knicks.”
Johnson would consider buying a minority stake, although he hasn’t spoken about it with Knicks owner James Dolan, who repeatedly said that the Knicks are not for sale.
However, a New York Post report in February revealed Dolan’s company, MSG Sports, is not ruling out selling a minority stake in the Knicks or Rangers.
“That one you would really have to think about, in terms of being a minority owner of that team,” Johnson told AP. “But other than that, I would just stay with the Lakers and even with my role now, just being a fan, I’m happy just doing that with the Lakers because, again, I bleed purple and gold.”
Julius Randle Is Ready for Training Camp
Julius Randle will be ready by the time the Knicks hit the Lowcountry for next week’s NBA training camp.
“Just steady progress. He’s had a very good offseason. He’ll be fresh and ready to go,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said in a Q&A with NBA.com’s Steve Aschburner.
Randle suffered a left ankle injury late in the regular season but soldiered on in the playoffs, where the Knicks reached the second round for the first time in a decade. With Randle hobbling, the Knicks fell short against eventual Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat in six games.