Apparently, Mike Woodson and the Knicks are talking hard line with J.R. Smith in hopes of not letting him become a distraction as they try to claw back into the playoffs.
We’ll see how that goes.
Smith was benched for the second time in four games Tuesday and the reasons were tied to him not trying to be a good teammate, reports the New York Post.
J.R. Smith was bellyaching on the bench to his Knicks teammates about not playing during Monday’s overtime session against the Suns, according to an eyewitness. It is unclear whether his displeasure resulted in coach Mike Woodson not playing Smith on Tuesday in Charlotte, but he was vocal on the bench about playing just 45 seconds of the 5-minute overtime as the Knicks pulled out the 98-96 victory.
The source said Smith appeared “disconnected,” and Smith then reportedly was late for a meeting in the hotel Tuesday before the Knicks faced the Bobcats.
Note to J.R.: You were benched in OT because of that airball at the end of regulation against the Suns. It was pretty obvious to the rest of us.
Woodson was asked about the Knicks trading Smith — he can be moved as of Wednesday — but that is unlikely as there is no market for a guy with declining skills considered a distraction who is owed $12.3 million over the next two years after this one. The Knicks would need to throw sweeteners in or take on a worse contract to get the deal done.
Smith is who he always was, it’s just because he’s not producing at the same level and the Knicks are not winning the franchise doesn’t want to put up with it.
But they are stuck with him for a while.