Knicks’ RJ Barrett talks his love for New York and MSG: ‘I hope I’m here for the rest of my career’

Ryan Morik

Several days after Julius Randle expressed his desire to retire a Knick, RJ Barrett echoed those same sentiments.

Barrett popped onto ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show and reveled about how much he loves playing in Manhattan.

“It’s really an incredible place,” Barrett said of Madison Square Garden. “The mecca of basketball. The best arena I’ve ever played in. Man, I love the Garden. I hope I’m here for the rest of my career.”

Barrett credited the fans to the team’s success at home.

“We have a really good record at home at the Garden with our fans. It’s really tough to come in there and get a win,” Barrett said.

And that’s with an extremely limited capacity — just 10 percent of seats are able to be filled at the moment.

If the Garden had full capacity, Barrett thinks “we’d have an even better record than we do right now.”

“Those fans at the Garden, they really get you going… Our arena is louder than some other arenas that can almost be at full capacity. It’s incredible to play in, and you feel the energy.”

That’s why the Knicks are fighting hard for the fourth seed.

“That’s what we’re looking for too right now,” Barrett said. “One game at a time, we got two more, gotta get two big ones on this back-to-back. Four seed is very important. It’s huge to kind of start a series with a lead, that’s what we’re working towards.”

The Knicks culture has certainly changed this year, and Barrett is proud to be a part of it.

“This season has been incredible. Just to be able to turn New York around, turn the Knicks organization around. It’s just been so special,” Barrett told ESPN NY. “No one believed in us, but we came in from day one knowing our ability, knowing what we can do. We’re really happy to be in this position, but we know we got a lot more work to do…

“You could see there’s a different level of respect [from opponents.] Teams have to come in and bring their best. Teams have to come in and play hard to beat us. So most definitely you can tell that… You can definitely see that teams respect us a lot more.”