New York Knicks Ex RJ Barrett Speaks After Brother’s Passing

Mar 7, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Toronto Raptors guard RJ Barrett (9) shoots over Phoenix Suns
© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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Toronto Raptors forward RJ Barrett spoke publicly for the first time since the passing of his younger brother Nathan on March 14. The former New York Knick is preparing to return to the floor after missing the past eight games in the wake of losing Nathan.

“It’s a hard time, for sure,” Barrett said on Friday, per Josh Lewenberg of TSN. “He was my best friend. I’m always missing him. I still text him. I still call him sometimes; I don’t know why. But I’m thankful for all the support from everybody & definitely from the Raptors.”

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Barrett has no timetable for his return but believed that his brother would want him on the floor. Toronto’s next scheduled game is Sunday at home against Philadelphia.

“Basketball is my sanctuary, so this actually brings me peace,” Barrett continued. “If I know my brother, he would want me to be here, to try to continue to make the Barrett legacy grow.”

Mar 7, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Toronto Raptors guard RJ Barrett (9) shoots over Phoenix SunsJoe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Barrett has played in 27 games for the Raptors so far this season, but he hasn’t seen the floor since March 11, three days before Nathan tragically passed away nearly two years after graduating from Montverde Academy in Florida. RJ is averaging 20.8 points and 6.2 rebounds since the Knicks traded him and Immanuel Quickley to Toronto in a late December deal that sent OG Anunoby and Precious Achiuwa to New York.

The Knicks played the Raptors in their final meeting of the season on Wednesday, sweeping the season set with a 145-101 victory.

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