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RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis discussed the upcoming season during rookie photo day

They look darn good in those Knickerbocker uniforms.

2019 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot
Looking fresh fellas!
Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

This past Sunday was picture day for this year’s NBA rookie class, and in between taking photos that will be etched in history on basketball cards, Knicks neophytes RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis dished on topics including how they’ve spent the summer and why we haven’t been seeing Barrett’s workouts on Instagram.

The entire 2019 NBA freshman class congregated on Sunday in New Jersey for an annual get-together called the Panini NBA Rookie Photo Shoot, which according to NBA.com “gives the incoming rookie class a chance to show off their personalities, skills and new uniforms.” Panini Group is an Italian company that produces basketball cards and other collectibles, but we’re not here to dive into the history of Panini Group.

No, we’re here to take a look at the newest Knicks in their NBA uniforms and imagine a world where Barrett and Brazdeikis both enjoy long, successful careers playing basketball for the ’Bockers.

The event was another reminder that Barrett is close personal friends with former Duke teammate and No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson.

While it’s still too bad New York didn’t land Williamson, Barrett seems to be the next-most hyped player from the draft, and it’s pretty great to have him on the Knicks. Barrett spoke with SNY’s Ian Begley during photo day, but before we get to what he said, let’s take a gander at what Zion said about Barrett:

”(Knicks fans) can expect that they’re getting a killer,” Williamson said. “For the people that are trying to look down on him, RJ’s been through worse. He knows how to battle through it and he’s going to bring the city everything he’s got.”

If Zion has confidence that Barrett will put it all together, then we should too. There’s no question that Barrett looked a little underwhelming during the first few Summer League games, and lots of people took joy in reacting prematurely, but by the end of the five contests he had become the first player in NBA Summer League history to average 15 or more points, 8 or more rebounds and 4 or more assists per game, according to Adam Zagoria at Forbes.

”I felt like that really got my mojo going,” Barrett told Begley, talking about his ability to bounce back from those first few disappointing showings in Summer League. “So just trying to bring that into training camp is going to be good.”

But what has Barrett been working on since Summer League ended?

Per Begley, Barrett has been focusing on improving near the basket. He did a pretty good job getting into the lane during Summer League, but too many of Barrett’s drives ended with him tossing up wild shots while fellow Knicks stood open outside because the defense had collapsed.

”I missed way too many layups (in Summer League),” Barrett said.

What about that thing you mentioned at the top of the story about not seeing Barrett’s workouts on Instagram?

Oh yeah. Summer is a time for NBA players to either directly, or indirectly via a trainer, post videos of their workouts. Watching players scrimmage and train in the off-season is a great way to trick yourself into thinking that every person who is in the NBA is the best player in the league.

Carmelo Anthony is a great example of someone who, based solely on the videos that have been posted of him working out this summer, appears to currently be better than Michael Jordan ever was. Yet somehow he remains a free agent.

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If Blake Griffin misses a single three this year, then this video is a liar:

Anyway, Barrett sought to answer the age-old question: if a player works out but there’s no video evidence on social media, did he really work out at all?

”I don’t play that game, man. People don’t need to know what I’m doing,” Barrett said. “My thing is, I’ve never done that my whole life and I’m going to stay true to that. I work out behind the scenes, nobody knows, you just see it on the court, that’s it.”

What else happened that was interesting?

Good question! Brazdeikis and Barrett discussed how the Knicks have a group chat where they talk about workouts and “other things,” and both rookies said the team has plans to get together for a group workout prior to the start of training camp in mid-September.

“I think we got a great team,” Brazdeikis said. “I think we all have that same mentality that we just want to win and make New York proud. I think we’ll be great. We’ll work together really well.”

In addition, Brazdeikis informed Begley that he’s using the rest of his summer since Summer League to relax ahead of his first NBA season.

”Enjoying a lot of time with close friends and family. I needed that time -- I’ve been going non-stop for a whole year,” he said. “That just gave me a couple weeks to relax and wind down a little bit. It was good for me mentally and physically, so now I’m just ready to go.”

We’re ready to go as well, Iggy.

Hey calendar, hurry up and turn to October 7, when the Knicks play their first preseason game against the Washington Wizards, would ya?