RJ Barrett speaks out on playing in his hometown of Toronto
Knicks rookie RJ Barrett will face off against his hometown team for the first time on Wednesday night, as New York is scheduled to face the Toronto Raptors inside Scotiabank Area.
The 19-year-old shared his thoughts on the matchup following Wednesday morning’s shootaround. He says it will be exciting and emotional, but he’s looking to take care of business:
“I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel different,” Barrett said, via Steve Popper of Newsday Sports. “It feels better. It feels great. So many emotions. But I can’t let my emotions get in the way of what needs to be done.”
Barrett is currently listed as day-to-day with an illness, but most reports are indicating that he will play in Wednesday night’s game. He missed Sunday’s matchup against the Nets due to the illness.
“Can’t miss tomorrow night,” Barrett said, via Sportsnet. “I got to go play for everybody I love.”
Barrett also noted that he plans to wear something on the court to onor his Canadian roots, though he would not reveal what it is:
“I’m wearing a little something for them tomorrow on the court,” Barrett said, via Sportsnet. “…It means a lot. Everybody kind of feels something for where they grew up, where they came from. For me, Canada, the whole country had my back. I love them for that.”
In his 16 appearances with the Knicks thus far (all starts), Barrett has racked up averages of 15.1 points on 41.3 percent shooting from the field (34.7 percent from beyond the arc), 5.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals in 33.4 minutes per outing.
Wednesday night’s Knicks-Raptors game is set to tip inside Scotiabank Arena at 7:30 p.m. ET.