Barrett: Playing with Zion again would be fun

New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett told Sky Sports NBA playing alongside former college team-mate Zion Williamson in the NBA would be ‘a lot of fun’.

NBA Heatcheck

Wednesday 12th August 8:00pm

Barrett and Williamson starred for Duke in the 2019 NCAA season, both averaging 22.6 points per game and leading the Blue Devils to a 32-6 record. Williamson was drafted No 1 overall by the New Orleans Pelicans while Barrett was selected by the Knicks with the third overall pick.

Having joined the professional ranks, Barrett and Williamson experienced contrasting rookie seasons. The Knicks limped to a 21-45 record but Barrett made some impact, playing in 56 games and averaging 14.6 points per page.

Zion WIlliamson and RJ Barrett in action for the Duke Blue Devils in 2019
WIlliamson and Barrett in action for the Duke Blue Devils in 2019

Williamson missed the Pelicans opening 44 games of the season through injury but made an explosive introduction after debuting in January, lifting the Pelicans back into the Western Conference playoff picture before the league suspended play in March. New Orleans did not play at their best during the season restart in Orlando, but Williamson ended his season averaging 22.5 point across 24 games.

Speaking to Sky Sports NBA via a video conference call, Barrett was asked how he would feel about one day reuniting with Williamson on an NBA team. “Playing with him again would be a lot of fun. I feel like we have great chemistry and we played very well together (at Duke),” he said.

Williamson is the closest challenger to Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant for the Rookie of the Year award and Barrett has been watching their performances closely.

“They are both very talented players – highlight factories, for sure! You get a couple of highlight plays from them every game,” said the Knicks rookie.

“Ja is out there running his team and he has them in the playoff race right now. He has played very, very well. Zion is a guy I love watching. Every time the Pelicans are playing I make sure I watch and support my brother. Those guys are both very talented.”

But what about his own rookie season?

Knicks rookie RJ Barrett throws a pass against the Detroit Pistons
Barrett throws a pass against the Detroit Pistons

“I think it was up and down,” Barrett said. “I had a lot of fun and learned a lot which is what I set out to do. I was going out on the court and just enjoying it. I was in the NBA! I was able to play and showcase my abilities.”

Barrett added his preparations for the 2020-21 season are well underway.

“Workout-wise, I have been going twice a day and once on Saturdays working on my shot, my finishing, my handle, really all areas of my game and trying to be better and more efficient next year.”

He has also made time to watch plenty of restart games, too.

“(The restart) has been very good,” Barrett said. There is a really good game on every time you turn on the TV. It has been really entertaining to watch. It is fun hearing the crowd noise and seeing the virtual fans.

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