Back in 2018, Kevin Durant broke down some of the then-high school stars’ games. KD also hyped up current Knicks guard RJ Barrett.
Even though RJ Barrett is yet to live up to the expectations the New York Knicks set for him drafting him as their 3rd pick of the 2019 Draft, he is a pretty important member of the team.
Averaging 17.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3 assists playing all the 72 regular-season games this past campaign, Barrett played an integral role in helping the team finish with the 4th best record in the East with a 41-31 record (their best since 2012-2013 season).
Clearly, in his first two years as a pro RJ hasn’t managed to be the sensational talent he was once hyped to be back in his high school and even Duke days. However, on numerous occasions over the past two seasons, the Canadian has shown several sparks of being an All-Star calibre player later in his career.
When Kevin Durant hyped up RJ Barrett while breaking down his high school game
Being ranked as the #1 high school player of the Class of 2018, RJ is considered as one of the greatest high school talents ever. Leading Montverde Academy to an incredible 35-0 record, he helped his team win the title at the GEICO High School Basketball Nationals. Putting up 28.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2 blocks and 1.5 steals a game, there is virtually no player as dangerous as the former ALL-USA Player of the Year.
And during his senior year, Kevin Durant did a video where he broke down the games’ of some of the then-top high-schoolers. Apart from talking about Shareef O’Neal, Jalen Lecque, Nico Mannion, KD also spoke about the Knicks youngster.
“Kid I have been hearing a lot about, haven’t gotten a chance to watch him as much. But I know he’s a lefty out of Canada, He’s not one of those 6’7” wings probably, do everything that’s going on, that can guard 1-4, and can play a long time in the NBA, especially the NBA today.
Crafty with the left, lefties are tough to guard, man. They can go right a little better. Then, righties can go left. So their left hands are just tough to guard. He’s a lefty that uses the right, which is gonna help him. Yeah, he’s athletic, man.
Athletic and can play on the top. That’s the thing, you gotta be able to play on top – conduct the offense. Going to Duke, so Coach K, you already know Coach K will let him rock out.”
Sure, Barrett is not yet the star who KD and everyone else once glorified him to be. However, RJ has proved to us on several instances he could very well be an elite player in today’s league.
With several new additions of veterans on the Knicks roster, the 21-year-old will only learn and add moves to his offensive arsenal. If he manages to play with the confidence he once had in Duke, there is no doubt the combo-guars can be a nightmare for any defender in the NBA.