The New York Knicks beat the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat 102-92 last night for their biggest win of the season, and got the win with reigning NBA Sixth Man-Of-The-Year J.R. Smith buried squarely on the bench. This comes after Smith was fined $50,000 for attempting to untie an opponent’s shoelaces in back-to-back games, while trade rumors around the shooting guard swirled.
(Although Smith would be nearly impossible to trade at this point, the ink is still wet on his 3-year $18 million contract, the Knicks would have to take a horrible contract back.)
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski released an article today calling J.R. Smith basketball’s Clown Prince. The biggest revelation of the article should come as no surprise to anyone, more clownish, immature behavior exhibited by Smith:
Perhaps his greatest excess of idiocy had been a weekend of running a room service bill into the proximity of $3,000, a source with direct knowledge told Yahoo Sports. He kept ordering food, stacking piles of trays upon trays – “just to see if they would keep bringing it to the room,” the source said.
All uneaten, all on the franchise’s tab – all a window into a fool.
I don’t really care about J.R. Smith wasting $3,000 of James Dolan’s money on room service, let’s be honest, James Dolan throws that much pocket change in the fountain when he makes a wish.
This room service stunt is just more clown behavior by a player that is not playing well enough right now to get away with it, Smith has always taken terrible shots, except this season they are not falling. As I said last offseason J.R. Smith is not the type of player who you sign to a long term contract, to get the most out of a player like Smith, he needs to be under the constant pressure of a contract year. Right now Smith knows that he is on the books for three years and $18 million, he can act like a clown, and he will still get paid. Smith thinks that, as long as he acts like a professional and plays well in that third and final season of his contract, another contract will come.
The Knicks need to keep Smith planted squarely on the bench, and give those minutes to team players like Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr, professionals who care about wins and losses.
The New York Knicks have no first round pick in the most stacked NBA Draft since 2003, they cannot afford to miss the playoffs and end up in the draft lottery, they have to make the playoffs. Luckily for the Knicks, the Eastern Conference stinks, they have won 4-5 games, and may have one five straight if not for some terrible shots taken by J.R. Smith in the fourth quarter against Houston. The Knicks are only 4.5 games back in the Atlantic Division, they need to stick with what’s working, and right now what’s working does not include J.R. Smith.
UPDATE: After the game, J.R. Smith hit the town, and headed to 1OAK where he posed for a photo pretending to untie a fan’s shoe: