The Knicks got their man with the third* pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, selecting Duke one-and-done prospect R.J. Barrett. Knicks fans in the crowd went nuts as soon as the pick was announced, signaling their approval in no uncertain terms. Barrett, a Canadian, is a slick wing with diverse skills and a tantalizing bag of scoring moves, but he also displays alarming symptoms of terminal Kobe Brain:
Barrett has the nickname “Maple Mamba” embroidered inside his lovely pink jacket, and when asked about it by Maria Taylor he proudly described his “Kobe mentality” before succumbing to raw emotion and turning the remainder of the answer over to his father. A troubling sign for Knicks fans, portending a habit of overlong dribble sequences spent hunting midrange pull-up jumpers, to say nothing of a flawed and inadequate understanding of Kobe’s personal history. Choose better heroes, young basketball players of America.