WHEN HE WAKES up in the morning, Josh Hart is greeted by a smiling family. Every morning he opens his eyes and looks at the wall in his bedroom, where he sees a wedding photo and a picture of a newborn baby.
Except it isn’t from his wedding.
And it isn’t his kid (he doesn’t have any).
The pictures hanging on the wall of the Portland home are of Larry Nance Jr., his wife Hailey and their daughter. And that’s just the way Nance wants it.
“Oh I told them he can’t take that off,” Nance told ESPN. “Every morning he’s gotta tell me good morning.”
What I woke up to the last two mornings…definitely going to take these down bro 😂 @Larrydn22 pic.twitter.com/Wg1DKUtbao
— Josh Hart (@joshhart) February 25, 2022
Nance and Hart — once teammates with the Los Angeles Lakers — were on opposite ends of the Feb. 8 deal that sent CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans, with Nance and Tony Snell also going to New Orleans, while Hart, Didi Louzada, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Tomas Satoransky became Portland Trail Blazers.
Instead of being reunited, as they’d hoped, the two were passing each other in the air. And while they couldn’t help each other on the court, there was one thing they could do to make the transition easier: swap houses.
Josh Hart, far left, and Larry Nance, Jr. (No. 7) became friends while they were teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2017-18 season. Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
HART AND NANCE became close friends when the two played for the Lakers. Nance had been there for two seasons when Hart was drafted in 2017. The two quickly bonded during their short time together. Both had been four-year college players who enjoyed the same things: video games, family, dogs and Chelsea soccer.
“It kind of started with playing, at that point it was Fortnite together,” Hart said. “Video games was an avenue. When you’re playing video games with your friends or teammates, you’re playing for hours. You start having a deeper friendship.”
Midway through Hart’s rookie year, Nance was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who sent him to Portland this past summer. The Lakers sent Hart to New Orleans as part of the Anthony Davis trade in 2019.
For a brief moment leading into this year’s trade deadline, the two thought …….