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RJ Barrett is not the New York basketball star feuding with a comedian, but he still can’t stop laughing at his own budding rivalry.
While the Nets’ Kevin Durant was engaged last week in a high-profile spat with actor Michael Rapaport, two young NBA talents traded some more traditional trash talk. With the Knicks trailing the Timberwolves by one point on Wednesday, Julius Randle couldn’t shake free of the defense and Barrett settled for a contested fadeaway jump shot from the elbow that fell short at the buzzer.
“Gladly RJ caught it and if he made the shot, we would’ve lived with it,” Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards said. “Because that’s who we wanted taking the shot. We didn’t want anyone else taking it.”
Barrett addressed Edwards’ dig at him for the first time Monday, after the Knicks’ shoot-around before facing the Nets.
“I saw it,” Barrett said after a chuckle to express his disbelief. “I laughed. Don’t really care.”
An infrequent Twitter user, Barrett let the world know he saw Edwards’ remark just a few hours after the game ended. He commented with a laughing emoji underneath a video of Edwards’ television interview.
“I thought it was funny,” Barrett said. “You’re right: I don’t normally tweet. I don’t know what it was about this one. I just felt like this one was an OK scenario to laugh at.”
What was it? It seems like this diss stuck with him more than he cares to admit.
Barrett, 20, was the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft after growing up in Canada, playing high school basketball in Florida and starring at Duke. Edwards, 19, was the No. 1 pick in the 2020 Draft after he grew up in Georgia and played his high school and college ball at home. It is unclear if there is a history between the two from crossing paths on the AAU or recruiting circuits.
Barrett has improved as a shooter in his second season with the Knicks. He is hitting on 44.4 percent from the floor and 34.9 percent from the 3-point range, up from 40.2 percent and 32 percent, respectively. In the clutch — last five minutes of games when the point differential is five or less — Barrett is shooting 42.1 percent to Edwards’ 41.9 percent.
The Knicks and Timberwolves don’t meet again this season, but Barrett knows how to get the last laugh over Edwards: Make the last-second shot.
“Oh, I’m very confident,” Barrett said, again making sure his laughter could be heard. “I can’t wait for the next one.”
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