To paraphrase The Clash’s iconic 1982 hit song “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” — Go, J.R. Smith, just, go.
From his latest shoelace tying escapades, to posting harrowing shooting numbers that want to make your eyes burn, to defending his misfit brother that can’t play the game of basketball whatsoever, the lion’s share of Knick fans have been getting tired of J.R Smith. I’m a part of that sect of fans that are tired, and, quite frankly, I believe he should go.
Usually, fans that are trade alarmists are needless, because several people don’t bring any legitimacy to the table by not listing reasons on why the certain player(s) must go; they just say it for the heck of it, because, ultimately, it’s New York. But for J.R Smith, there are plentiful reasons above to why the Knicks front office should pull the trigger on some kind of deal.
Antics are a heavy component of the way J.R behaves. It’s a given. Most Knick fans knew that you were going to get that characteristic in him right before signing him during the locked out season. Players that have that kind of personality are great, but, however, they can get out of hand pretty easily.
Smith’s recent $50K fine after being issued a warning to not untie shoes again shows that, as well as his five game substance abuse policy suspension after being caught using marijuana prior to the season even starting (and Lamar Odom somehow didn’t get caught using crack cocaine for three years). He also paid the price by delaying his offseason knee surgery in October, in which his breakdown was starting to begin. He’s essentially putting himself under the bus. Well, not really, considering that he got his 3 year $18M deal under his belt.
Here are a couple of snippets from a recent Ken Berger article on the subject of Smith.
“I hear Shanghai has a spot,” one rival GM said Wednesday when polled about potential takers for Smith.
Another executive, when asked about teams that might be interested, texted, “Erie?”
Ouch. The quotes are pretty clever and harsh at the same time, because Smith played in China during the lockout a couple of years back and the second one is a half and half response to his brother being cut and his atrocious play. It’s solid gold. Which ever GM’s said those quotes (one of them has gotta be Danny Ainge), bravo.
Also, here’s what J.R’s former coach, George Karl had to say about him.
“He’s going to wake up some day and he’s going to realize that he’s thrown away some great opportunities and great years because of this mockery that he brings to the game,” Karl said.
Karl is simply stating what everyone’s view is on Smith at this point: He has an exceptional talent level, but he’s simply flushing it down the toilet by committing tons of tomfoolery.
Although Mike Woodson, his most superlative defender, has constantly defended him throughout this mess of a season, he just doesn’t seem to care. Woodson’s whole accountability ethic seems to be empty talk to Smith. The consequences are rolling out one by one. They just keep coming. If J.R were a boxer, he would probably tell the opposing boxer at the beginning of the first round to say “hit me” while standing there aimlessly, waiting for the big punch to knock him out.
Reports have been surfaced that the front office is exploring trade options for Smith, which is the perfect time to do so. The February 20th trade deadline is a mere month away.
I don’t know. $18M for secretive knee surgeries, unsportsmanlike conduct and abhorrent play? I’ll pass, but his trade value has plummeted, so, unfortunately, the trade won’t happen anytime soon. But cutting him wouldn’t be such a bad idea either, because why not? Something’s gotta give.
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