RJ Barrett elaborates on his lofty goals for Knicks’ 2022-23 season

Mar 4, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Tomorrow, the New York Knicks will play basketball after 177 long days. Sure, it’s just the preseason, but all that matters right now is that the Knicks will be back on the court. Fans are excited to see Jalen Brunson in action, to see younger players such as Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin on the floor, and to see the one and only RJ Barrett in action.

Barrett snapped the Charlie Ward curse this summer after signing a four-year extension with New York. The 22-year-old was set to become a restricted free agent next summer, but at the tail end of the Donovan Mitchell trade talks, the Knicks opted to proceed with extending RJ. It was the right move to make, although there’s been discussions about New York mishandling the situation.

With the offseason in the past, all that matters is that Barrett is moving forward as the future of the Knicks. He’s entering the season with a familiar goal, which is to be named an All-Star for the first time, but he has high expectations for the team. On Media Day, RJ said that New York is going to “shock the world” and when asked about that this weekend, Barrett went into detail about why he feels that way.

RJ Barrett thinks the Knicks ‘can do something special’ in 2022-23 season

Now, on Media Day, spirits are usually high. It’s the start of a new year, and for a team that was a letdown in 2021-22, the Knicks have a clean slate. It wasn’t a surprise to hear RJ Barrett say that New York is going to “shock the world” because that’s a typical Media Day comment.

However, because the Knicks are the Knicks and RJ is RJ, it drew more attention than a comment such as that one typically would. New York’s part of a stacked conference and division, so making the play-in tournament would likely end up being a huge feat in itself.

Barrett’s aware of that, and more than anyone, he knows what it’s going to take to get there, which is why after practice on Sunday, he told the New York Post:

"“What I was trying to say is we all have something to prove. We all have a chip on our shoulder. We’re all working extremely hard every day to go out there to prove ourselves,” Barrett told The Post on Sunday after practice. “I always feel like I have something to prove. We feel like we have something to prove. I was saying if we can collectively come in every day the right way and play together — offensively, defensively, everything clicks — then we can do something special. I still feel that and still believe that.”"

That’s the kind of attitude that the Knicks need to have. The one good thing about last season’s 37-45 record is that the team can use it as fuel in the upcoming season, which is why RJ said that New York has a chip on its shoulder.

The Knicks have been overlooked, but that’s understandable. However, if they show that they’ve learned from their mistakes last year and go out and compete on a nightly basis, New York could garner attention from around the league. RJ said it best, the Knicks could very well end up doing “something special” in 2022-23, and that journey will begin tomorrow night.