It’s the final day of September, which means that New York Knicks fans have almost made it past the last full month without basketball. Preseason is right around the corner, and after that, the 2022-23 NBA season will tip off. New York will travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies on Oct. 19, and two nights later, the Knicks will make their home debut against the Pistons.
Expectations for New York aren’t high, but fans are hoping for a different outcome than the one that they were given in 2021-22. The Knicks made some valuable moves in the offseason, like signing Jalen Brunson and trading Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, and Kemba Walker, but they’ll likely still have to fight tooth and nail to earn a spot in the play-in tournament.
However, there’s always the chance that New York will end up earning a playoff berth without going through the play-in tournament first, which would be miraculous. In an 82-game season, anything can happen, so while the chances of the Knicks making it to the playoffs may be slim, New York shouldn’t be counted out entirely.
That’s why on Media Day, RJ Barrett said that the Knicks are going to “shock the world.” Whether you believe that or not, New York could end up turning some heads by doing these three things.
3 ways Knicks could live up to RJ Barrett’s ‘shock the world’ expectation
3: Have more than 1 player be named an All-Star
Obi Toppin won the 2022 AT&T Slam Dunk contest at All-Star weekend in Cleveland this past February, but no Knicks players were named as All-Stars. In 2021, Julius Randle represented New York in Atlanta in his first All-Star appearance, but he wasn’t even an afterthought this past season.
At the end of the 2021-22 season, RJ Barrett said that his personal goal for the upcoming season is to be named an All-Star. He echoed that again at Media Day. He signed a four-year, $120 million extension a few weeks ago, and many Knicks fans believe that he’s on the verge of a breakout season. Jalen Brunson will help to take RJ’s game to the next level, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the 22-year-old were to be in Salt Lake City come February.
And speaking of Brunson, he’s coming off a big year, which is what resulted in him signing a four-year, $104 million contract in free agency. If he can build off the momentum that he ended the year with, the 26-year-old could be named an All-Star for the first time as well.
Barrett and Brunson are the two likeliest Knicks players to be All-Stars, and if both of them represent the Eastern Conference, that’d be one way to prove RJ’s “shock the world” statement.