New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith reacts after hitting a three-point shot against the Dallas Mavericks in the first half of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York

J.R. Smith says he’s done wearing black after Knicks ‘funeral’ stunt (VIDEO)


The Knicks actually wore all black to the arena for Game 5 against the Knicks on Wednesday, in preparation for the “funeral” they were hoping to see involving the Boston Celtics.

Those were Kenyon Martin’s words in advance of the game, when he told teammates to “Wear black. Funeral Colors.”

The stunt obviously backfired, as the Celtics forced a Game 6 by winning on the Knicks’ home floor.

J.R. Smith was as involved in the nonsense as anyone — he can be seen in the video clip above in the all black attire, and remember, he was on record as saying the series would have been over had he not been suspended for Game 4 in Boston.

As you might imagine, Smith was a little more low-key after the loss, one in which he started the game 0-for-10 from the field and finished it shooting 3-for-14 in 36 minutes of action.

“Well, we was going to a funeral, but it looks like we got buried,” Smith said afterward. “Basketball is a very humbling game.”

Smith added, “I’m done with this black stuff.”

New York still has two more chances to win the series, one of which would be at home should the Celtics be able to force a Game 7. The Knicks are the better team, but we’ll see if the life the Celtics have found over these last two games is enough to carry them to an historic series comeback.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.