The Knicks have finalized their roster for the season, and for the most part it is what most people expected. However, one move stands out as pretty confusing, leaving many Knick fans wondering why it happened: choosing Chris Smith over Jeremy Tyler.
Chris Smith, for those who don’t know, is J.R. Smith’s brother. He is a point guard, which the Knicks have plenty of, so it doesn’t make tons of sense to keep him on the roster. Many people have suggested that the only reason he’s on the team is to repay J.R. for his loyalty with the Knicks, re-signing with them this summer for a fair deal. If that is the case, and it could be, then it proves that the Knicks have a backwards system of command.
If the players have more influence than the coach does, then that is pretty sad for Mike Woodson. He should be able to make the decisions on his own team. He said he wanted Jeremy Tyler to make the team and instead J.R.’s brother — who neither fills a need or offers much NBA skill at all — makes it. Although Jeremy Tyler is injured, it’s a shame to see him get released on top of getting injured.
Figuring out how the Knicks run their organization is a shot in the dark. Nonetheless, it seems easy to blame Jim Dolan for all this mess because he enables his players and lets them do whatever they want. Dolan is a known supporter of loyalty to his franchise (see what happened to Jeremy Lin?), and it seems rewarding the Smith family was a priority over filling a need and keeping a backup big man. This is a perfect example of Dolan letting J.R. get his way. Chris Smith is only on the team because of family nepotism and it’s not fair. It should not be a part of the game and players should only make the team because they deserve it.
It is unfair for Mike Woodson also. He should not have to deal with this. He has one giant task ahead of him: get this team to contend for the Eastern Conference. Dealing with these types of silly politics should not be among his priorities.