Knicks fans have it in for Jarred Jeffries, a guy they see as stealing the midlevel exception for the past few years. He is emblematic of the bad years the Knicks are trying to move past in some fans mind, a guy overpaid for little production.
Jeffries came back on a new deal but the fans haven’t let up — and Mike D’Antoni has his player’s back. Here is what he told the New York Post.
“Indulge me for a second, anybody who boos Jared Jeffries has got to reexamine their life a little bit,” D’Antoni said following the Knicks’ 99-88 win over the Jazz at the Garden. “I love our fans and I like Madison Square Garden, the arena, but here’s a guy who came back to us, minimum contract. He could’ve gone to a lot of other teams. He plays as hard as anybody could possibly ever play, with injuries, everything you ask him. He takes every charge, every dirty play, every rebound. He works every second.”
Jeffries really isn’t playing that well, shooting 34.9 percent, giving the Knicks 4.3 points and 3.6 rebounds a game. That said, this year he’s only costing $854,389. If you wanted to be frustrated when he was making $6.9 million last season, I get that, but this year he’s not breaking the bank.
Maybe D’Antoni is on to something. Time to move on, cheer Jeremy Lin and shake your head at Carmelo Anthony’s shot selection. But let it go with Jeffries.