With the New York Knicks having Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and RJ Barrett all competing in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the likelihood these players begin the upcoming NBA season in mid-season form is almost expected. Each contributed greatly to their roles, and the stage set for a showdown at the FIBA World Cup.
RJ Barrett shines for Team Canada
RJ Barrett has been excellent for Team Canada. In the most recent loss to Serbia, Barrett recorded a team-high 23 points after an 18-point second-half takeover in a win against a Luka Doncic-led Slovenia. Following the win against Slovenia, Canada, head coach Jordi Fernandez stated, “RJ did his job today at a high level, and that’s one of the reasons we won the game.”
Scoring as well as amplifying talents such as Dillon Brooks and Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, Barrett’s professionalism and poise while staying aggressive on the floor in FIBA brings an added element to his game with the New York Knicks. Going into year five for Barrett, the Knicks can take a step forward under the leaps to be taken by their premier players.
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The Knicks have a true leader in Jalen Brunson
Jalen Brunson has been a true leader for Team USA. Following a loss to Germany, posting 15 points and seven assists, Brunson said his performance was “Terrible. Plain and simple.” A total testament to the degree of accountability as a leader that Brunson pursues.
His USA teammate Josh Hart went 4/4 with five rebounds and three steals in a loss to Germany. Josh Hart has consistently led the entire Team USA in rebounds. Hart averages six rebounds a game and the motor that he has been exists without high-scoring games. The destruction of Team Jordan saw Hart post 12 rebounds and only two points scored.
Team USA and Team Canada disappoint at the World Cup
Team USA and Canada had high expectations to be playing against one another in the gold medal game. The anticipation on social media was profound, yet they will be competing for Bronze. Questions arise if North America has met its match, in regards to basketball on the world stage.
The talent level of world competition was a major headline following Noah Lyles’s now infamous comments, which Stephen A. Smith spoke about on First Take.
The 2024 Olympics now hold a spotlight as the USA and Canada will bring the best players and demeanor. The NBA players representing the Knicks have this experience of a lifetime that will cultivate a successful 2024 NBA Season, opening the gate for even greater possibilities.