Newly-drafted New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett wants to bring the organization back to “that championship way.”
On Thursday night, the New York Knicks got the superstar that fans have been waiting for.
With the No. 3 overall pick, New York chose Duke wing RJ Barrett. The 19-year-old averaged 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists on 45.4% shooting in the 38 games he played in his lone season at Duke. He’s expected to be one of the more dominant players on the Knicks roster for years to come.
After he was selected, Barrett made it known that his goal is to bring championships back to the city.
RJ Barrett's message to New York:
"I'm here, I love you, let's try to get back to that championship way" pic.twitter.com/ITz7wTgIhT
— SNY (@SNYtv) June 21, 2019
“New Yorkers, I’m here. I love you. Let’s try to get back to that championship way,” Barrett said on Thursday night after he was selected
Before the draft, the Duke standout gave his reasoning for wanting to be a Knick.
“It would mean a lot,’’ Barrett said during Wednesday’s draft press conference, per Marc Berman of the New York Post. “My late grandfather, rest in peace, he was the biggest Knicks fan. He always told me I’d play for the Knicks. So it would mean a lot for me to play for the team.”
Along with drafting Barrett, the Knicks could sign two max free agents this summer. They’ll have the chance to sign superstar Kevin Durant, despite his ruptured Achilles keeping him off the floor for the entirety of the 2019-2020 season. It’s likely that they will also attempt to sign point guard Kyrie Irving to be KD’s running mate. NBA free agency begins on June 30.
Even if the Knicks don’t sign any superstar free agents, Barrett is still excited to be in New York and knows the city is excited to have him as well.
“I’m glad that the city wants me here as much as I want to be here,” Barrett said.