RJ Barrett’s Emotional Moment with His Dad at NBA Draft Shows Significant Role of Black Fathers, Says Stephen A. Smith

A video clip of RJ Barrett, and his father, Rowan Barrett, sharing a special moment at the 2019 NBA Draft has gone viral with almost 2 million views.

At the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Thursday night, RJ was selected No. 3 overall to the New York Knicks after a one-year tenure with the Duke University Blue Devils.

When ESPN interviewed him and his father, the world got a glimpse of the special bond the two share.

“I’m definitely proud,” Rowan Barrett says in the video clip.

He then looks at RJ and says, “I’m proud of you, son.”

“Thanks, dad,” RJ responds, and they embrace, both with tears in their eyes.

The journalist then asks: “Tell me what you want every Knicks fan to know about your son.”

“My son is going to give everything he has on the court,” Rowan Barrett says. “He’s a competitor. He plays to win — all the time — every time. He’s going to work in the off-season. He’s gonna get bigger. He’s gonna get stronger.”

Barrett played professional basketball but never played in the NBA. In 1999 at the FIBA AmeriCup, he won a silver medal representing Canada.

ESPN host Stephen A. Smith, an uber Knicks fan, shared the video on Twitter, noting the Black fathers present at the NBA Draft, supporting their sons.

“This moment epitomized what I saw a lot tonight: Black fathers — having played significant roles in their child’s lives — obliterating this stigma about us that has been disseminated for decades,” Smith tweeted.

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