With the news that the Knicks are deep into discussions with one of the scariest men in recent NBA history, I figured it was a good time to dust off this piece, which I wrote in November 2010. At the time, Smith was rumored to be included in the Carmelo deal. I didn’t much want to see him with the Knicks at the time but I’m intrigued by the possibility now. The Knicks badly need a shooter to space the floor - they’re currently 26th in three point field goal percentage - and Smith, who shot 39% from three last year, would really help in that department. Smith would give the Knicks some firepower off the bench as well, as reserves Bibby, Shumpert, Walker and Jeffries aren’t exactly the 2002 Kings (although Bibby was a 2002 King.) While I’m concerned about Smith’s personality disrupting the chemistry the Knicks have recently developed, I am comforted by the fact that he could be cut if he misbehaves (I’m also excited about Lin and Smith developing a connection on the court and earning the nickname “The Odd Couple.”) Without much to offer by way of a trade, the Knicks need to be bold and aggressive when they have the chance to add talent. Signing Smith is both bold and aggressive and he is a talent. If Melo re-integrates himself without too much difficulty and Smith is productive, the Knicks won’t be too far from contending. This year. That tells me that for a pro-rated $2.2 million, you’ve got to take a risk on Smith. Of course, JR is a bad man. I know because I’ve had dreams about it. Read on.
Note: this post is all a big joke and should be interpreted as such. I have no doubt that JR Smith is more complicated than his public persona and is to some degree misunderstood. I also appreciate the sadness and seriousness of the death of his friend as a result of his reckless driving.
I was in a bar watching the NBA and talking with a friend recently (shocking, I know). He asked me what I thought about the Knicks acquiring JR Smith from the Nuggets as part of a trade for Carmelo Anthony. I responded by saying that I thought the idea was a very bad one, not just for on-court reasons but because of the risks adding Smith presents to the New York citizenry. I said that I thought it would be ok if the Knicks wheeled him out onto the court for games like Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. Otherwise, I just don’t want JR Smith to be walking around the same city as my mom.
Since then I’ve been having all these JR Smith murder fantasies. In all these scenarios, I’m the victim. I’m only going to share a couple because I don’t want anyone to get the sense that I am crazy.
After going to a game at the Garden and having a few beers at Blarney Rock afterwards, I get in a cab to head home. The driver asks me where I want to go and I tell him. All the doors lock and the driver turns around. It’s JR Smith and the child-safety locks are on. We get in a terrible accident on the FDR Drive (he didn’t ask me what route I wanted him to take) and I drown in the East River.
Lock Down Defender
I am convicted of a crime I did not commit and am sentenced to a few years in prison. When I get there, JR Smith is my cellmate. He actually takes pretty good care of me. He watches my back and even puts me down on his intramural prison basketball team (where he doesn’t pass, but still). Problem is, he also puts me down with the Bloods and I am forced to get involved with lots of fights, many of them involving shanks. Eventually one of those fights leads to my death.
I finally call in to talk radio like I have always dreamed. “Fish, from Manhattan” the host says. “What’s on your mind?” “This Smith guy, he doesn’t pass, he wears noise-canceling headphones when D’Antoni tries to talk to him and he puts a sleep mask on when D’Antoni’s drawing up plays. I want him out of here,” I say. That night I go to a strip club and am loudly negotiating the price of a lapdance. Sitting behind me so that his head and mine are almost touching is Smith, getting a lapdance of his own. He hears me and recognizes my voice from the radio show. At his behest, someone from his entourage kills me.
Best Seat In The House?
After finally ingratiating myself enough with Spike Lee to get invited to sit courtside with him at MSG, I’m sitting front row when Smith dives to save a ball from going out of bounds. I’m drinking and dining on Spike’s tab, so I’ve got a beer in one hand and a double of Maker’s in the other while an order of chicken fingers and fries sits on my lap. When Smith lands on me the whole thing spills on him. The combination of liquid and red ketchup makes him think I cut him, so he produces a razorblade from his mouth like Birdie in Above the Rim and stabs me to death, right there in front of a sellout crowd and my new friend Spike.
Yes, this is how I spend my days. If anyone in Hollywood is reading this, I am willing to have any or all of these optioned into screenplays.