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Let’s all get emotional watching RJ Barrett’s Madison Square Garden introduction


Empire State Building Hosts New York Knicks NBA Draft Picks Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images

We Knicks fans have a reputation as being a cynical lot — a couple of decades of on-court abuse will do that to a fan. Why bother getting emotionally attached to a player when he’s just going to disappoint you like the dozens who came before him?

Recently drafted rookie RJ Barrett is doing his best to soften our stone hearts, however. First, he displayed an infectious sense of joy at being selected by the ‘Bockers on draft night. That rapturous joy carried over to his first moment taking the floor of Madison Square Garden since joining the club, as captured in this video.

I have to admit, I nearly teared up when he mouthed the words, “The New York Knicks select RJ Barrett.”

If you needed another reason to love RJ, just peep the number he chose: No. 9, the very same number worn by Knicks legend Pablo Prigioni. Could it be that RJ purposely chose it to honor Pablo’s legacy? I’m just going to ignore all evidence to the contrary and say yes.

Let the spirit of Pablo be with you always, young man.