NY Knicks: Zion Williamson/RJ Barrett relationship is something to watch for

RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson, New York Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson, New York Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 4
NY Knicks
Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, NY Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /

NY Knicks: Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett’s friendship

Any basketball fan knows the basics of these two young players’ relationship. They were heralded prospects who were college teammates for a Duke University team that received as much national publicity as any college basketball team in recent memory.

Williamson and Barrett’s bond was noted throughout their season college season by coaches, reporters, and teammates. At the time, teammate Javin DeLaurier said “Around us, they talk in this weird dialect-language. When they’re together, they’re trouble.” Another teammate, Tre Jones, said, “Neither of them really care about the outside stuff, and they don’t let it come between their friendship.”

The brotherhood the two formed as college teammates was a healthy one. Both were top-tier talents who knew wanted to be the best but never allowed jealousy to get in the way. Duke assistant coach Chris Carrawell commented, “They genuinely want each other to do well…They’re each other’s biggest fans.”

Not all college teammates form strong friendships. If players had played together in college or during AAU, it’s easy to make assumptions about those players’ connection when we’re on from the outside looking in.

With RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson, it’s an actual well-documented bond. These things don’t always matter in the NBA, but sometimes they do. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s friendship led them to craft a shared vision of joining the Brooklyn Nets. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade’s well-documented friendship was at the core of their teaming up with the Miami Heat.

Now, at the core of the potential Williamson to New York rumors, is his strong brotherhood with RJ Barrett. The connections don’t stop there.