One of the smartest things that Zion Williamson did at Duke was to let RJ Barrett be as Alpha as he wanted to be.
Really Williamson was the guy but it was important for Barrett to believe that he was and what did it hurt really? So Williamson, who is really smart about people, let him have it.
Partly as a result, their relationship turned into a mutual admiration society.
As an NBA player, Barrett is in a much more cut throat culture and the odds of someone being as insightful as Williams was are slim. So he’s had to slowly assert himself and earn the mantle of leadership. It’s accrued to him gradually and because he’s deserved it.
He’s had some really great moments so far with the Knicks but few will top what he did Thursday night vs. Eastern Conference rivals Boston. And it calls up a moment from his rookie season that probably wasn’t too great when fellow Brotherhood member Jayson Tatum hit a winning shot over him.
Consider the tables turned.
Tatum was all over Barrett when he hit a dramatic game winning three. You have to believe New York fans love him now, and not least of all because he loves them too.
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