Knicks Wing RJ Barrett Sounds Off on Missed Opportunity Against Orlando

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks

Getty RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks dunks the ball during the fourth quarter of the game against the Orlando Magic.

The New York Knicks managed to attain their second victory of the season on Monday night, as they beat the struggling Orlando Magic by a final score of 115-102.

Though the double-digit advantage that Tom Thibodeau’s club ultimately finished with certainly is a wondrous sight to see for the franchise’s faithful followers, it truly only tells half the story of the game, as it appeared the team was fully in control of this outing from start to finish.

The Knicks played like a well-oiled machine throughout the exhibition and were consistently seen executing highlight-reel-worthy plays, with perhaps the most noteworthy moment on the night coming late in the third quarter on a fast-break play to push New York’s lead to 14.

After swiping the ball away from Mo Bamba on defense, Jalen Brunson dished out an outlet pass to a running Obi Toppin on the other end of the court.

Upon receiving the ball, without a second’s hesitation, the big man tossed a no-look behind-the-back bounce pass to the trailing RJ Barrett, where he would go on to flush it home at the rim, causing a thunderous eruption amongst the filled-out Garden crowd.

Arguably the most impressive play on the night for either team, fans and media pundits alike saw the sequence as a statement dunk that summed up the type of game the Knicks were having against the, now, 0-4 Magic.

However, to RJ Barrett, it was merely a missed opportunity.

Barrett Apologizes to Knicks Big

After the win against Orlando, when talking to the media back in the locker room, Obi Toppin took a microphone from one of the reporters in attendance and asked RJ Barrett how he felt his “finish was” during the duo’s fast break play.

In response, the wing ended up apologizing to Toppin for not putting more flair into his dunk.

“I should’ve windmilled it. But that’s my bad, bro,” Barrett jokingly told Toppin.

The big man would accept his teammate’s tongue-in-cheek apology and jokingly stated that he hopes to see Barrett “try something” new if they ever hook up on a play similar to the one they executed against Orlando in the future.

Teams ‘Keeping an Eye’ on 2 Knicks Players

Obi Toppin’s flashy assist to RJ Barrett is not the only thing that’s placed him into the spotlight as of late, as he was recently mentioned as being a player teams could be looking to trade for as we move farther along into the 2022-23 campaign.

During an October 19 episode of The Putback podcast, SNY’s Ian Begley touched on the difficulties that will come with the Knicks trying to keep their young core intact past the expiration of their rookie-scale contracts and mentioned both Toppin and Immanuel Quickley as being players other teams will be “keeping an eye” on throughout the season.

“It’s going to be hard for the Knicks to pay both of those guys because they’ve already committed money to Mitchell Robinson, Derrick Rose is on a long-term deal, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson,” Begley said.

“So you do the math and it seems like you can pay Toppin or Quickley but it would be tough to pay both. I think other teams recognize that and they’re keeping an eye on that scenario too.”

The two were heavily intertwined in offseason trade talks, particularly when the Knicks were pursuing star guard Donovan Mitchell, and, in Begley’s eyes, they could still wind up being dealt before their rookie deals come to an end.