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Barkley Criticizes RJ Barrett

NBA: Denver Nuggets at New York Knicks
 Dec 4, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) at Madison Square Garden. 
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when RJ Barrett was a disappointing draft pick for the New York Knicks? And how his first year he was seen as trade bait?

And then he became a much better player in his second year? And rose again at the beginning of this year?

Well it’s come full circle: Barrett is a disappointment again - because he’s not an All-Star.

And that’s what Charles Barkley says he needs to be for the Knicks to keep rising:

“You can only win so many games on hard work. The Kemba thing clearly has not worked. So you really cannot say that they got better than last year. They just play hard, but they don’t have great talent.

“I mean Randle’s a heck of a player, but who’s the second-best player on that team. I did not know Kemba didn’t have a lot left in the tank... To me he (RJ Barrett) has to be the guy to step up, and he hasn’t done that... But if they’re going to be any good, it’s going to have to be Barrett, he’s gonna have to become close to being an All-Star.”

There is some truth in that.

For one, Randle has played well in New York, but he’s 13 to 12 through his career. He’s not likely to improve a whole lot.

And Walker does appear to be just about done, at least in New York and possibly entirely.

The Knicks have shown some life in the last year or two and Barrett is a huge part of that. The truth though is that the Knicks may never fully recover until James Dolan is gone. He’s been a disastrous owner. Sadly, he shows no signs of wanting to let it go.