Asked what qualities are needed to become the leader of an NBA team, Knicks forward RJ Barrett deferred Saturday to more established players in the league.
“You might want to ask Chris Paul or Bron [LeBron James] or something like that,” Barrett replied.
Still, the 21-year-old Barrett acknowledged his desire to emerge as a leader on and off the court during his third season with the Knicks.
“I feel Year 3, also just being with this staff and these guys for a couple years now, it’s a lot easier for me, because I’m out there on the court experiencing things, seeing things, just trying to help in any way that I can,” Barrett said. “I feel that leadership is not just what you say. It’s what you do, how you act, how you comport yourself in the facility, on the court, in the games everywhere.
“So, just trying to bring positive energy. And also, I think that the staff and the players have trust in me, as well, that if I say something or if I put my two cents in that we can have a conversation about it.”
Barrett also was pleased to learn that he ranks 14th in the league in jersey sales, one spot ahead of the Hornets’ LaMelo Ball and one behind Suns star Devin Booker.
“That’s amazing. Thank you to the fans. Thank you, everybody buying my jerseys,” Barrett said. “That’s a dope moment to see my name on that list. Definitely a lot of love. It just kind of shows that when you work hard and you give your all and especially to a city like this, they love you back in return.”
Kemba Walker (knee) and Nerlens Noel (knee) have been listed as questionable and Cam Reddish (ankle) is probable for the matinee game Sunday against the Clippers.