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Notes from Day 1 of Knicks training camp: RJ talks Obi, Thibs talks earning rotation spots

RJ wants to make the playoffs. Follow your dreams, kids!

New York Knicks v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

The New York Knicks kicked off training camp for the 2020-21 season on Tuesday with some individual workouts, followed by video conference media access for a few players.

The most important player to speak, by far, was second-year man RJ Barrett. Looking to spark some juicy quotes, the press asked him about being left off both All-Rookie teams. Needless to say, RJ was displeased by the snub.

Most Knicks fans wanted to see RJ make All-Rookie, while the vast majority of NBA Twitter dorks were disgusted by the idea of such an inefficient scorer making the team over, say, the 11th man on the Toronto Raptors. RJ had the counting stats, but those just don’t go very far in today’s NBA. Personally, I don’t mind so much that he was left off the team, but I believe he was playing his best ball of the season just as the lockdown happened, so he would have had a much stronger case if the Knicks had played all 82 games.

But let us look the future! RJ was also asked his thoughts on rookie Obi Toppin, whom he worked out with on Tuesday.

New head coach Tom Thibodeau had some thoughts about Toppin as well. Let’s just say he’s a fan of the offense.

Of course, this is pretty much the book on Toppin: extremely NBA-ready on offense, extremely unready on D. But teaching defense is why Thibs is making the big bucks.

Thibs had some controversial remarks — at least as far as the beat writers were concerns — when asked if he would play the Knicks’ many kiddies at the cost of wins.

I mean, what the hell was he supposed to say? Moving on...

Dennis Smith Jr. also got to talk. He had a difficult 2019-20 season — both on and off the court — and he believes he has matured in all aspects of his life.

Sneaky-good signing Nerlens Noel also spoke about his defense-oriented game as well as his potential mentoring relationship with Mitchell Robinson.

And that’s about it. RJ also said he’d like to make the playoffs. I, too, would like RJ to make the playoffs. Let’s make that happen!