Report: Knicks want J.R. Smith back, but his brother Chris… not so much

12 Comments

Last season Chris Smith — the brother of Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith — spent time with the Knicks D-League affiliate.

The Knicks may want to add a more athletic, explosive point guard this summer (even if they keep both Pablo Prigioni and Jason Kidd) and the Knicks certainly want to re-sign free agent J.R. Smith. So signing Chris Smith could help with both those things, at least in theory, right.

Not going to happen, reports Jared Zwerling at ESPNNewYork.com.

One source said Chris Smith, J.R.’s younger brother, will not be considered.

“Chris is not an NBA player — not even close,” the source said. “He will never play for them.”

Outside re-signing J.R. Smith, the Knicks will be limited in what they can do this summer with free agents, essentially able only to sign guys with the mini taxpayers midlevel exception (around $3.2 million, the league has not set the official figures yet) and bring in minimum guys.

(The Knicks have J.R. Smith’s early Bird rights, meaning they can offer a contract just above the league average salary, likely around $5.5 million, for at least two and as many as four years. If another team came over the top with a larger offer, the Knicks could not match. However, Smith has said he wants to stay a Knick and New York wants him back).

Chris Smith recently switched agents over to CAA, his brother’s firm. J.R. might like to have his brother on the team, and CAA might push it, but it sounds like that is not going to happen.

Chris, of course, doesn’t see it that way.

Suns’ T.J. Warren fined $15k for inappropriate language toward official following ejection (video)

Leave a comment

Everyone on the Suns seems frustrated.

In Phoenix’s loss to the Clippers on Monday, T.J. Warren got ejected. And his outburst will cost him extra.

NBA release:

Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren has been fined $15,000 for directing inappropriate language toward a game official following his ejection, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

This wasn’t a lengthy exchange. Warren didn’t linger on the court complaining. He must have said something extremely harsh to warrant two technical fouls and a fine that quickly.

(Despite confusion, the foul preceding the ejection was called on Deandre Ayton, not Warren.)

Pacers star Victor Oladipo returns from 11-game absence

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Leave a comment

When the Pacers ruled Victor Oladipo out indefinitely a couple weeks ago, it seemed gloomy.

But Indiana weathered the storm, going 7-4 without its best player.

Now, Oladipo is back. He started against the Bucks tonight.

I still think the Raptors, Celtics, 76ers and Bucks will comprise the Eastern Conference’s top tier by the end of the season. But the Pacers (17-10, fourth in East) have a chance to crash the party. They acquitted themselves well without Oladipo, and it should get only easier with their offensive focal point/top perimeter defender.

NBA promotes Bulls’ Mexico game with video of their bus bottoming out

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Leave a comment

The Bulls will play the Magic in Mexico City tomorrow.

Even amid all Chicago’s problems, that’s still a marquee game for the NBA as it expands its reach globally. So, the league is showcasing Chicago’s trip.

With unintentional hilarity.

NBA:

That sound eight seconds in is Chicago’s season.

Stephen Curry on moon-landing conspiracy: ‘Obviously, I was joking’

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
5 Comments

Stephen Curry said he didn’t believe we went to the moon.

That caused an uproar to the point NASA offered him a tour of a lunar lab.

Curry, via Nick Friedell of ESPN:

“One thousand percent,” Curry told ESPN on Wednesday of accepting the invite. “One thousand percent. Obviously I was joking when I was talking on the podcast. I was silently protesting how stupid it was that people actually took that quote and made it law as, ‘Oh my God, he’s a fake moon landing truther,’ whatever you want to call it, yada, yada, yada. So I was silently protesting that part about it, how the story took a life of its own.

“But in terms of the reaction that I’ve gotten, I am definitely going to take [NASA] up on their offer. I am going to educate myself firsthand on everything that NASA has done and shine a light on their tremendous work over the years. And hopefully people understand that education is power, informing yourself is power. For kids out there that hang on every word that we say, which is important, understand that you should not believe something just because somebody says it. You should do your homework and understand what you actually believe. But I’m going to go to NASA and I’m going to enjoy the experience whole-heartedly.”

Curry said he believed we didn’t actually go to the moon. I don’t find it unreasonable people took him at face value. I don’t find it unreasonable people thought he was joking, either. His sincerity was unclear.

I’m glad he set the record straight now.

We obviously went to the moon. There’s no way everyone who would’ve had to help fake the moon landing would have stayed quiet. People don’t keep secrets that well.

As for Curry, he got the NASA invitation and a lot of publicity. But it’s time to move on. Whatever he actually believed a few days ago, Curry has clarified his current view.

That separates him from Kyrie Irving, who also initially delivered a conspiracy theory during a lighthearted podcast segment. But Irving doubled down on his flat-Earth claim in several subsequent interviews.

Curry put this to rest fairly quickly.