New York Knicks star RJ Barrett fired back at a reporter during Wednesday morning’s shootaround prior to Game 5 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden.
Atlanta holds a 3-1 series lead over the Knicks, and the reporter asked Barrett if the season were to end in New York, how would he judge the team’s season after a first-round playoff exit.
Barrett snapped back.
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“Why you gotta be so negative?” Barrett said. “I ain’t thinking about that. We’re winning tonight. I’m not thinking about that. Come on, bro. Stupid a– question.”
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If the Knicks pull out with a win in Game 5 on Wednesday night, they will have to travel back to Atlanta to take on the Hawks in the sixth game of the series. If New York manages to win that, both teams would return to Madison Square Garden for a Game 7 winner-take-all matchup.
Barrett’s teammate, Taj Gibson, talked about what it’s been like playing at Madison Square Garden in the franchise’s return to the playoffs for the first time in nearly 10 years.
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“Have you seen the crowd and emotions around the city — it shows the love,” Gibson said via the New York Post. “I’ve been around a long time in some really loud places. The atmosphere in the Garden, atmosphere around the city, people constantly encouraging you about the game.
“You go down and get a bagel or cup of coffee, everybody is giving us praise about what we’re doing in changing the culture,” Gibson continued. “The city is paying attention but we don’t feel we’re done yet. Right now it’s a starting block to what the team wants to do and what the organization wants to do as a whole.”