Roman Alexander is his name but people call him “RJ”. Born in Toronto Canada, Barrett was projected to be the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft before basketball’s next phenom was born in Zion Williamson. They both ended up at Duke University as top recruits.
Where RJ was Zion’s sidekick but still managed to show how great he can be. Although they fell short in the Elite Eight against Michigan State. Duke’s destiny of winning an NCAA championship came to an end but RJ’s destiny has just begun. Barrett in his true freshman season he had averaged 22 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists per game. Those statistics had him projected to be a top three pick in the draft.
Barrett seemed to be underwhelming during his one year at Duke. Barrett was the #1 recruit coming out of high school in 2018. He was now the third prospect in the upcoming draft. Numbers one and two potentially being future all star talents, Zion Williamson and Ja Morant. Knicks fans were extremely upset after their failure to secure the #1 pick in the draft lottery. Since the Knicks haven’t had that true generational talent such as a Lebron James or Michael Jordan. Madison Square Garden has been looking for it’s superstar to lead the franchise to a championship. Therefore, the last recent hall of fame/ all star players in New York such as Carmelo Anthony and Patrick Ewing had failed to deliver that title that we New York fans have been waiting for since 1973.
The world’s most famous arena has been ready to be set on fire with success instead they have got absolute dysfunction. With the failure’s of grabbing superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in free agency due to bad ownership in James Dolan. By the way going 15 minutes away to the Barclays Center where the other New York team plays, the Brooklyn Nets. Knicks were at an all time low, as the draft came along. They drafted RJ Barrett with the third overall pick. Even though he is super young, Barrett was ready for the challenge to be the alpha male in New York City.
The Canadian native averaged 14 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists per game. The statistics don’t tell you the entire story. As Barrett showed that he has a true natural talent to score the basketball with different arsenals of moves. At 19 years old, Barrett had a confidence about himself that most young players don’t have and that’s a start. Going into year two with a very young Knicks core. With most of the team being built off recent draft picks, Barrett is certainly ready to take that next step to the lead, despite being only 20 years old.
The 2021 season started off with a bang for the Knicks, even though they lost to the Indiana Pacers 121-107. One man stepped up for New York and it was RJ Barrett, in which he scored 26 points on 11 for 15 shooting with 8 rebounds as well as 5 assists. The now 20 year old was showing that he is taking that next step all preseason. New York has their future #1 guy in RJ Barrett due to his unbelievable scoring ability and his way to have excellent court vision to set up his teammates for success. The Knicks don’t much to build off of but they something in that kid from Canada that’s for sure. The “Maple Mamba” has arrived in New York.
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