J.R. Smith: I ‘Wouldn’t Blame’ Phil Jackson If He Traded Me Last Season
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Knicks President Phil Jackson has been very active since being given the keys to the franchise.
As expected, he’s made some bold moves and begun to transform a roster that severely underachieved last season.
Oh, and he also hired Derek Fisher to be his coach.
More moves could be — and likely are — on the way. And shooting guard J.R. Smith, who is coming off a disappointing campaign, said he wouldn’t have been surprised if Jackson traded him last year.
The 2013 NBA Sixth Man of the Year also wouldn’t have been offended in light of the way he was playing.
“No, absolutely not,” the unpredictable 28-year-old told ESPN. “The way I was playing, I was playing like a person who didn’t want to be there; not looking as focused as a person should be in that situation that we were, in the trenches. I wouldn’t blame them at all.”
With fellow shooting guards Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway, Jr. still on the team, Smith knows that a trade remains a possibility.
“Yeah, because that’s just the way the numbers work, honestly,” the New Jersey native told the network. “When you have so many people at that same position and you’re trying to juggle between ‘Well, he’s got to play 20 minutes, he’s got to play 30 minutes, he’s got to play 25 minutes,’ it’s tough to do. That’s why whenever I’m in the gym I try to do the best.
“(I’m) not worried about those guys (the other shooting guards), but (I want) to make sure I’m evolving my game so I can play multiple positions and keep my talent on the floor.”
Smith, entering his fourth season with the Knicks, averaged 14.5 points, 3.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds last season. He shot 41 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range.
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