NY Knicks: Responding to RJ Barrett being left off ESPN’s “Top 25 under 25”

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
RJ Barrett, New York Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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RJ Barrett, NY Knicks
RJ Barrett, NY Knicks (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The NY Knicks have a budding star in RJ Barrett, and yet, there are still some people around the league who don’t acknowledge the 20-year-old’s production and high-end potential. Barrett has been an integral part of a Knicks team that has far exceeded expectations this season. New York is firmly in the Eastern Conference playoff race, and they wouldn’t be where they are now without RJ Barrett.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen RJ Barrett disrespect. Barrett was infamously left off the NBA All-Rookie teams last season for players like Terence Davis and Eric Paschall. The argument against Barrett always revolved around Barrett’s low-efficiency numbers playing in a high-volume role – These arguments always ignored the Knicks’ terrible floor spacing, lack of surrounding talent, and the fact that Barrett was already a focal point for opposing defenses. The 22-year old “Terence Davis” averaged 16.8 minutes for a game and was able to hit a few open 3s for an Excellent Raptors team… nice. It’s a classic example of people who go through box scores without watching film from teams around the league.

NY Knicks: The RJ Barrett disrespect is real

So here were are in Barrett’s sophomore season where he has made significant strides in his game. Strides that not even I thought would be so large so soon. Barrett has already begun to debunk some of the negative myths about his future in the NBA. He’s developed into a fantastic 2-way player, and yet, we rarely hear a peep from anyone outside of NY Knicks circles.

What happened to the number 1 high school recruit, the player who was part of the nationally recognized big-3 at Duke, the player who was a unanimous top-3 selection in the 2019 NBA draft? Where has all that star-potential talk gone since he joined the NBA? Let’s look at the narrative around Barrett’s career thus far.