The New York Knicks haven't had the best start to the 2022-23 season, but that doesn't mean that the future of their team doesn't look good. The Knicks have many talented players on their roster, but they have struggled to figure out how to put all the pieces of their puzzle together in an effort to build a playoff-caliber team.
Leon Rose has a bold comparison for RJ Barrett
One of those talented players is RJ Barrett, who has quickly flashed his scoring potential in just four seasons in the league. Barrett has become one of the biggest pieces of the Knicks' scheme on both sides of the ball, as he's a strong scorer who also excels as a wing defender. Barrett is only 22 years old and figures to improve as a player as he gathers more experience.
The Knicks rewarded Barrett with a four-year, $120 million extension this offseason, and it was a deal that everyone involved with the team, including president Leon Rose, was excited about. However, Rose dropped a wild comparison for Barrett shortly after his new deal, and early on this season, Barrett hasn't done much to prove Rose's comparison to be correct.
"His numbers are in the company of elite. His numbers are in the company of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Luka Doncic, and Kevin Durant. They are the only other four players that by the age of 22 scored 3000 points, 1000 rebounds, and 300 three-point shots." - Leon Rose, New York Knicks
Leon Rose's comparison isn't wrong, but it is quite outlandish
This is a wild comparison from Rose. Many folks find creative ways to pick out stats that fit their agenda, and that feels an awful lot like what Rose has done here. For reference, here are the totals in the categories Rose mentions of each five players through their age 21 seasons.
RJ Barrett: 3469 PTS, 1101 REB, 325 3PM
Kobe Bryant: 4240 PTS, 1054 REB, 199 3PM
LeBron James: 6307 PTS, 1576 REB, 298 3PM
Luka Doncic: 5115 PTS, 1663 REB, 531 3PM
Kevin Durant: 5967 PTS, 1453 REB, 284 3PM
Right off the bat, Rose's list is wrong because Bryant and Durant didn't actually hit 300 three-point shots before being 22 (although they would hit the total in their age 22 seasons), and James ended up hitting the total before turning 22 in his age 22 season. But that's really beside the point. You can see how good the other players' numbers were and how Barrett barely snuck into this "exclusive" club.
Barrett has been a good player, but Rose oddly decided to make a wild comparison to some of the all-time greats in the NBA for no reason. Barrett hasn't been without his flaws, as he struggles mightily with his efficiency and doesn't offer much as a passer, but Rose ignores that to try to flaunt how good of a contract Barrett's deal is for the Knicks.
This ignores that Barrett was involved in potential trade talks for Donovan Mitchell this offseason because the Knicks initially didn't want to give him a long-term deal. They eventually came around, but if they were so sure of Barrett, they likely wouldn't have waited so long to give him his new deal. So while Rose may try to improve public opinion of this deal, it's clear Barrett is nowhere close to being as good as the players Rose mentioned here.