The Knicks lost tonight to the Charlote Bobcats but somehow the game itself has taken a back seat to a player that didn’t even play.
The story, apparently, is that J.R. Smith was the only Knick not to appear in the game.
Mike Woodson is well within his rights to play, or not play, anyone on his roster that he chooses. He is the coach; he has the authority to decide playing time and he is accountable to no one except the upper management. Last time I checked J.R. isn’t an executive. Tonight Woodson thought that the team was best off without Smith on the floor, end of story.
Smith has turned into every tabloid writer in this town’s favorite player. Not for his basketball, which has been mediocre at best this year, but for his personality. J.R. can’t help but find the headlines. I’m hoping pretty soon he finds the door.
It seems that J.R. loves the spotlight, but it doesn’t love him back. Smith went from being sixth man of the year last year, and a fan favorite at the Garden, to nothing but a distraction and a detriment to his team. Last year he seemed to be coming into his own as a player, and as a person, this year he has reverted to being a selfish ball player both on and off the court. After tonight’s game Smith proclaimed that “communication from his end is over”. Communication from his end isn’t needed. He isn’t the coach. He isn’t a decision maker. His job is to play to the best of his ability when the coach inserts him into the game and that’s all. How can he fail to realize this? If he wants Mike Woodson to have to play him he has to play better. He absolutely deserved to be the NBA’s sixth man last year. His play dictated that he was amongst the best players in the entire league, starter or non-starter. This year his play has dictated that he shouldn’t be playing the minutes he usually gets from Woodson.
Woodson is doing his job trying to send a message to Smith that he needs to step it up. Smith clearly isn’t receiving that message.
A non-starter with an ego so big that he thinks he deserves an explanation for anything that goes on is a huge problem. This huge problem should be sent packing as soon as possible. For both parties sake.