R.J. Barrett was picked #3 in the 2019 NBA draft, and he’s under a glare that even his former Duke teammate Zion Williamson, who was chosen #1, won’t face. That’s because Barrett was picked by the New York Knicks, a franchise in the U.S. media capital that has done everything possible to damage its legacy as a first-class winner.
Still, hope spring eternal and it rose fast around Madison Square Garden when Barrett became the latest Knicks “savior.” It’s a big gig for a 19-year-old, but he seems ready.
Fans went nuts for Barrett when he took a press conference question in French — and then answered it in French. Barrett grew up in Canada until his early teens and attended a French school early. It’s a cosmopolitan start for Barrett in this cosmopolitan city. He hasn’t won a game yet as a Knick, but he’s already “won the press conferences” according to many media outlets.
Fans too, were impressed. “This man does everything,” said one. “This guy was made to be in New York,” said another. And so it went on. But no one was more impressed than Barrett himself, who said: “that was nice, wasn’t it?”