RJ Barrett defends the indefensible: Fouling Zion Williamson. During Rising Stars.

Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett
Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

CHICAGO – RJ Barrett finished the first half, went to the locker room, played the second half, got dressed and then sat through most of his press conference. Finally, he got the question he’d been waiting for.

Why did Barrett foul Zion Williamson to prevent a dunk. During Rising Stars?

“OK,” Barret said. “So.”

Barret explained he missed a 3-pointer on the previous possession. Someone on the USA team was talking trash. It might have been Williamson. Barrett wasn’t sure. Regardless, Barrett wasn’t going to let the No. 1 pick dunk.


The NBA put Williamson into Rising Stars because he’s fun young player capable of electrifying highlights.

Not so Barrett could foul his former Duke teammate.

What an affront to the spirit of this event. Barrett was already on the wrong end of a Trae Young nutmeg, but those are the breaks. Don’t interrupt a slam with a foul. Barrett deservedly got booed.

Barrett’s World team lost the game. So, there was some justice.