LeBron James reveals watching Scottie Barnes play when the Raps’ rookie was in the 7th grade, and telling one of his friends that Barnes was “gonna be special”.
Despite suffering a tough 128-123 OT loss against LeBron James and the Lakers, Scottie Barnes had an incredibly impressive performance for the Toronto Raptors. The 20-year-old rookie had one of the best performances of his young career, grabbing a huge double-double.
Playing a total of 42:21 minutes, the #4 pick of the 2021 draft managed to record 31 points and 17 rebounds (career-highs in both) along with 6 assists and a steal on 66.7% shooting from the field.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) March 19, 2022
With his remarkable performance, Scottie also became the 4th rookie over the last 20 seasons with 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists in a game, joining Ben Simmons, Blake Griffin, and LeBron James.
Scottie Barnes is the 4th rookie over the last 20 seasons with 25 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists in a game, joining Ben Simmons, Blake Griffin and LeBron James. He is the first rookie in Raptors history to do this. pic.twitter.com/cJymqV0Fon
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 19, 2022
LeBron James knew Scottie Barnes was going to be special when he saw the rookie play for the first time in 7th grade
Over the years, Bron has been seen at several high schools and AAU games, watching the next generation of hoopers play ball. One of the many current youngsters LBJ witnessed in their younger days was Scottie Barnes.
After the LAL-Raps clash, James revealed how he knew Scottie was going to be “special” after watching the forward play in the 7th grade. LeBron disclosed in the postgame presser:
“I saw Scottie Barnes for the first time in the seventh grade, and I told one of my good friends he was gonna be special.”
LeBron James: “I saw Scottie Barnes for the first time in seventh grade and I knew he was going to be special … it may have been a surprise to some of you guys but it’s no surprise to me … it’s a beautiful thing to watch.” pic.twitter.com/FIu1k0EsHs
— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) March 19, 2022
Amid their recent clashes, an old video of Bron sitting courtside at one of Barnes’ EYBL games went viral. And clearly, LeBron was impressed with what he saw Scottie do.
So far, Barnes is averaging a solid 15.5/7.7/3.4 for the season, and could very well end up in the All-Rookie first team.