Appearing Wednesday on ESPN2′s First Take, New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith said he understands Phil Jackson’s desire to trade him.
Roughly 11 days after inking a four-year contract worth $24.7 million last summer, Smith underwent patellar tendon surgery and an arthroscopy for a tear in the lateral meniscus of his bummed joint on July 15.
Smith, who began the season serving a five game suspension for blowing reefer, has also been pinched using cannabis on three occasions as a professional.
Essentially a petulant child, Smith averaged 14.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists over 74 games.
“I was playing like a person who didn’t want to be there,” said Smith, 28, who feuded with axed coach Mike Woodson. “Not looking as focused as a person should be in that situation that we were, in the trenches. I wouldn’t blame them at all.”
New York finished 37-45 and failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since the 2009-2010 campaign.
Despite Jackson’s recent moves, the Knicks remain deeply flawed and not even the legendary Red Holzman could win with their current roster.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to imagine that any franchise would willingly employ the 2013 Sixth Man of the Year.
Hence, there are 24.7 million reasons for J.R. Smith to “want to be” a Knick and perhaps finally act like a man “in the trenches.”by