Fred VanVleet Opens Up About His Relationship With Scottie Barnes & It's Big Bro Energy

"He's definitely one of my more challenging projects that I've had."

Toronto Staff Writer
Fred VanVleet Opened Up About His Relationship With Scottie Barnes & It's Big Bro Energy

If anyone has attempted to replace Kyle Lowry's leadership role in the Toronto Raptors' new roster, it's Fred VanVleet — especially when it comes to advising the team's rising stars.

VanVleet opened up about his close relationship with rookie Scottie Barnes during a post-game interview last week, gushing over the 20-year-old's potential with a candidness that screams big brother energy.

"I'm hard on him. He's going to be a really good player in this league. He has a really, really high ceiling," VanVleet told reporters on Friday.

"He's definitely one of my more challenging projects that I've had, but he makes some plays sometimes that, you know, you can see the vision and the feel and some stuff that is hard to teach."

Raptors Post Game: Fred VanVleet - December 10, 2021

The father of two also revealed his personal process for helping Barnes grow as a player which apparently includes a lot of cheerleading and support from the Raptors veteran.

"You can see certain plays and certain tendencies and certain lapses and um, lack of detail at times that you would expect from a young kid," VanVleet said. "But he's in a primary role on this team, and it's harder for somebody like me whose come in how I came in, and then was a part of really good teams to be a part of that process where you just kinda gotta keep clapping and tell him, 'Good job!' when you know he's out there."

And while VanVleet said Barnes isn't always receptive to the criticism, there really isn't anything he can't do out there on the court.

"I'm on his butt about being great, and he's been steadily improving all year, so I think that he's going to be huge for us going forward," he concluded.

Freddie's ascension to the Raptors' de facto leader became clear earlier this month when he was seemingly spotted cussing out his young teammates while leading the team to victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

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