RJ Barrett stops a Zion Williamson alley-oop dunk

CHICAGO – Knicks rookie shooting guard RJ Barrett talked prior to Friday’s Growing Stars Problem about staying eager to protect his Duke compadre Zion Williamson.

And he meant it. Williamson got significantly agitated at Barrett soon after he was about to leap for an additional of his patented alley-oop jams. Barrett held Williamson, not letting him leap to an additional emphasize. Williamson was shaking his head at Barrett, grimacing.

Ironically, on the next possession, Barrett permitted Williamson to dunk the ball just after he acquired it within.

“When he stopped me on that fastbreak, I was kind of like, male, you’re the final human being I believed that would do that, but he let me get the upcoming one,” Williamson stated. “It’s just brothers messing around.”

Barrett, who finished with a Entire world-crew-substantial 27 points but skipped all four of his 3-pointers, stated his aggressive shift on the No. 1 pick in the draft who just came back from knee surgical procedures..

RJ Barrett pulls down a rebound in front of Zion Williamson during the Rising Stars Challenge.
RJ Barrett pulls down a rebound in front of Zion Williamson for the duration of the Soaring Stars Obstacle.EPA

“So ideal right before that, I shot a 3 in the corner,’’ Barrett mentioned. “I do not even know if it was [Zion], but somebody on the courtroom was chatting trash and then I missed it. So when I saw him jogging, I was like, nah, he’s not about to dunk it. “

Williamson concluded with 14 points and even bent a rim on a person of his tip dunks. But in the closing minutes, a entire-blown dunk contest broke out and the Planet Group permit Williamson pass up three circus tries.

Barrett, who also experienced 3 steals, six rebounds and 5 assists, obviously played the sport with more serious intent. Barrett tore to the hole like it was an NBA match and identified tiny resistance.

“What I did like is he arrived to contend tonight,’’ his Earth coach Adrian Griffin explained soon after the World’s 151-131 loss. “I seemed at his eyes. He required to go immediately after it.’’

Griffin said if the Globe had held on to the lead, Barrett would’ve been MVP.