New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett hasn’t lost his confidence, saying it’s “hard” not to vote himself for the Rookie of the Year Award.
RJ Barrett may not have star production, but he sure possesses star confidence. Talking to reporters in Chicago at All-Star Weekend, the New York Knicks first-year player had plenty to say when asked about the Rookie of the Year Award.
“A lot of people deserve [Rookie of the Year], a lot of people work hard for it,” Barrett said, per Marc Berman of the New York Post. “I don’t know. It’s kind of hard not to vote for myself.”
Barrett is averaging 13.6 points per game on 38.8% shooting. He’s additionally averaging 5.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. His stats don’t jump off the page, but his development has been a beneficial surprise to Knicks fans.
Back in January, I wrote a feature evaluating Barrett’s first half of his inaugural NBA season. His game is equal parts grace and grind, and the former Duke Blue Devil’s thirst for hard work and knowledge hasn’t stopped despite the fact that no regular-season games are currently taking place.
Barrett also talked about “picking” other stars’ and retired-players’ brains.
“I want to pick people’s brains,” he said. “There’s a lot of stars here. It’s chance to talk to them and see what they do and apply it to my life. I saw Gary Payton last night. He was cool and spoke to us and told us how hard he worked and told us to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. People have a lot of knowledge.”
Playing for Team World, Barrett finished the NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge with an impressive game-high 27 points. The Knicks guard will receive another opportunity to close the gap between himself and his fellow draft classmates when the orange and blue play the Indiana Pacers next Friday.