If the mask doesn’t fit, you’ve got to sit.
Or something like that.
We posted a couple days ago the plan for J.R. Smith to suit up for the New York Knicks Wednesday night wearing a mask to protect his fractured cheekbone.
Except he didn’t suit up. After going through warm-ups Smith told the Knicks the protective mask he had didn’t fit right and he couldn’t play with it on. He was out, as explained at Newsday.
J.R. Smith tried to make it work. For a good 30 minutes before Wednesday night’s game against Sacramento, he made his way around the perimeter, trying to get his game going while wearing his new protective plastic mask.
Less than an hour before game time, however, he decided the mask just wasn’t fitting the way he wanted and it wasn’t worth the risk. “I’m not gonna play tonight,” Smith said. “I’ll wait it out and hopefully it heals more within the next week and I get more comfortable wearing it.”
“Yeah, it’s way too risky to play without it,” he said. “For the consequences to get hit again in that spot, I can lose my vision and I don’t want that and nobody else would want that. So I’ll just wait it out, wait one game.”
The Knicks lost to the Kings 106-101 without him. The primary guard rotation of Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni and Timothy Hardaway Jr. combined for 20 points on 8-of-26 shooting (30.8 percent). So yes, the Knicks could have used Smith.
The mask will be adjusted so that hopefully it fits better after the All-Star break, he said. Hopefully that plus the additional time off (allowing him to practice a little in the mask and get used to it) should have him back on the court next week.