Knicks' Jalen Brunson Perfectly Trolled Kenny Smith During Postgame Interview

Knicks guard Jalen Brunson speaking to TNT's Inside the NBA crew after the Knicks' win over the 76ers on Thursday night.
Knicks guard Jalen Brunson speaking to TNT's Inside the NBA crew after the Knicks' win over the 76ers on Thursday night. / Screenshot Twitter/@NBAonTNT

Jalen Brunson had Villanova on his mind.

Brunson poured in 14 of his game-high 41 points in the fourth quarter to help the New York Knicks advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 118-115 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, doing so in a familiar setting at the Wells Fargo Center, where he played some of the biggest games of his college career for the Wildcats.

At one point, Brunson, after hitting a clutch shot in the fourth quarter, appeared to look skyward at Villanova's 2016 championship banner hanging in the rafters.

Then, during a postgame interview with TNT's Inside the NBA crew of Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith, Brunson made sure that Smith, an alum of the University of North Carolina, didn't forget the 2016 national championship game, where the Wildcats defeated the Tar Heels.

Barkley began the interview by asking Brunson if he felt that Philadelphia was a special place for him to play. Brunson replied that he believes it "definitely" is, pointing out the program's three championship banners. Then, it was Smith's turn to ask a question.

Brunson, hearing Smith's voice, asked, "Is this Kenny?"

"Yes it is!" Smith affirmed.

"2016 banner, Kenny," Brunson said, as Smith and his TNT peers burst into laughter.

Well played by Brunson, who couldn't resist a little trolling at Smith's expense, reminding him of his Wildcats' 77-74 win over Smith's Tar Heels back in April 2016.

Brunson and the Knicks will next take on the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, which begins May 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Tim Capurso


Tim Capurso is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Previously he wrote for RotoBaller and ClutchPoints, where he was the lead editor for MLB, College Football and NFL coverage. A lifelong Yankees and Giants fan, Tim grew up just outside New York City and now lives near Philadelphia. When he's not writing, Tim enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with his family, including his three-legged cat Willow, who, unfortunately, is an Eagles fan.