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Much has been made of the New York Knicks re-assembling one of the most successful college programs in NCAA history, with Villanova alums Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo joining Wildcat teammate Jalen Brunson in the Big Apple over the past year. There's one key Villanova player who's yet to join the fold, however, and his former teammates aren't afraid to remind him.

While Hart, DiVincenzo and Brunson are thriving on the playoff-bound Knicks, Mikal Bridges has suffered a disappointing season with his 26-45 Brooklyn Nets. The difference in the two teams was evident on Saturday, as the Knicks beat the Nets, 105-93, behind 31 points from DiVincenzo.

After the game, Hart decided to have a little fun with Bridges, who put up 18 points, five assists and four rebounds in the loss, likening his situation to a ubiquitous piece of pop culture.

"It's like that SpongeBob meme when Squidward is looking out the window and he sees SpongeBob and Patrick having fun," Hart said, via Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News. "[Mikal] is Squidward."

To save your fingers the pain of a quick Google search, here's the image Hart is referencing:


While meant to tease his former teammate, Hart's analogy underscores just how rough things have been in Brooklyn this season. A team that had hopes of making some noise in the Eastern Conference playoff picture now sits well outside of the final Play-In Tournament spot.

Bridges hasn't kept up the strong play he exhibited after being traded from the Phoenix Suns last season, suffering declines in both production and efficiency.

Mikal Bridges2022-23 (with Nets)2023-24










Meanwhile, both Brunson and DiVincenzo are putting up career-high point totals and Hart has registered five triple-doubles in his last 22 games.

With his two-way skill set, plus size and length, Bridges would be an excellent addition to any contender, Knicks included. He still has two more seasons left on his contract after this one, and has never hinted that he wants to leave Brooklyn. In February, however, he did bring up the Knicks -- and his former Villanova teammates -- when asked about his future.

"I know people might want to think about different situations and teams," Bridges said, via Stefan Bondy of the New York Post. "Obviously I've got my boys over there in New York, so everybody goes with that."

Hart was just giving his college buddy a hard time with the Squidward comparison, but whenever trade rumors circulate around Bridges, the Knicks will be an obvious destination.