New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett is signing with Puma.
Selected third overall by the New York Knicks’ in June’s NBA Draft, Barrett posted 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game while at Duke University.
Over the last few years, Puma has been instrumental in hoops rebranding.
Last year, Puma named Jay-Z a creative director of the shoe. In that role, he worked with the art direction for Puma’s shoes by shaping the general concept of the revived basketball division.
The Phoenix Suns’ Deandre Ayton, Los Angeles Lakers’ Danny Green and DeMarcus Cousins, as well as the WNBA’s Skylar Diggins-Smith all, wear Puma.
Barrett is not the only New York Knicks player to don puma kicks. He’ll join fellow New York Knicks, Allonzo Trier, Kevin Knox, Bobby Portis & Knicks Hall of Famer Walt Frazier as wearers of the shoe brand.
Some peg RJ Barrett as a potential NBA Rookie of the Year.
“I’m definitely going for rookie of the year for sure,” Barrett said earlier this summer.
“It’s going to be a battle. But I’m confident enough that I can get it.”
“When you look at R.J. Barrett the kid. I think he’s built for the big stage,” NBA analyst, Rashad Phillips tells the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“I think he likes to play on the high stage. I think he loves to play under the lights, the popcorn smell I like to say. I think New York is the perfect place for a guy like that. New York is not for everybody. But there are a few players in this draft that can play in front of those type of people and have an impact. I think RJ Barrett is one of the few that can handle New York.”
The Knicks have not been to the NBA Playoffs since 2013 and finished this past season with a 17-65 record.
This coming season, the orange and blue will feature a young roster that includes Barrett, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and Dennis Smith Jr.
“I think we going to have a lot of young pieces this year that are going to gel together,” Bobby Portis told me.
“I think Knicks fans are in for a treat.”
“I’d say this is going to be a great group of guys that are going to be together,” Barrett said at his introductory press conference.
“We’re all excited for Coach Fizdale. This is the biggest stage. So yeah, I’m excited to be here, I’m excited to play.”
That fair though process echoes Knicks President Steve Mills.
“I think we’re asking [fans] to continue to be patient,” Mills said recently.
“We laid out a plan when [GM] Scott [Perry] came on board and then [coach] David [Fizdale] joined us that we were going to build this team the right way,” Mills added. “We were going to draft well and we were going to be diligent about how we built this team, and not take any shortcuts.”