RJ Barrett is already winning Knicks press conferences

RJ Barrett

Fans here are dreaming of stars like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving choosing next month to play at Madison Square Garden. For the first time in recent memory, they were happy.

Even Spike Lee was thrilled that the Knicks picked Barrett, too, and immediately started celebrating on the floor.

Following the Toronto Raptors' historic championship win, the National Basketball Association is getting another taste of the north after six Canadians were selected in the 2019 Draft on Thursday.

RJ Barrett (Duke) speaks to the media after being selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Knicks in the first round first round of the 2019 NBA Draft at Barclays Center.


Regardless, the Mississauga, Ontario, native said he wasn't focused on the fan reaction ahead of time - even knowing how critical NY fans can be.

"I'm excited for him", said Barrett's father. "I'm ready for the challenge". "I'm somebody who grew up watching (Steve) Nash play and I always thought it was really cool he was from Canada". "I got selected. Hopefully more Canadians who get selected can kind of give those kids and other generations hope". "That's all I can really do".

Both the Knicks and Barrett got their wish for a partnership Thursday night. The 19-year-old averaged 22.6 points and 7.6 rebounds with the Blue Devils last season, leading them to the Elite Eight alongside No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson, and appears to be a great fit in the Knicks' system.

The needs of each team on the clock are being presented pre-pick. He profiles more as a shooting guard, given his 6-foot-4 frame, but enough of a standout season will make this meaningless; however, the Knicks need a point guard. Clarke will pair with Dillon Brooks in Memphis, while Barrett figures to serve as a fundamental building block towards the Knicks' future.

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