Toronto Raptors’ RJ Barrett pushing forward after death of brother


Toronto Raptors small forward RJ Barrett knows his brother would have wanted him to be back with the team and help grow the family legacy.

Barrett spoke to reporters during the team’s practice Friday for the first time since his brother Nathan died on March 12.

“I’ve had some people in my life pass, but I think this one hit a little harder for me,” Barrett said before pausing. “This one is definitely a little different, so it’s a lot tougher.

“I just think that you’ve got to push forward every day, you’ve got to be able to try to figure it out because also if I know my brother, he would want me to be here, to be playing, to try to just continue to make the Barrett legacy grow.”

Barrett, who has missed the past eight games, also thanked the Raptors for their support while he was away from the team.

Barrett returned to practice Tuesday, although the team has not yet announced when he will return to the lineup.

The 23-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., joined his hometown team on Dec. 30, 2023, in a trade with the New York Knicks.

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