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J.R. Smith admits delaying knee surgery until after he signed new contract with Knicks

Oct 1, 2013, 11:13 PM EST

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J.R. Smith took home the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award last season, and was an important piece to a Knicks team that finished the season with the second best record in the East, behind only the defending champion Miami Heat.

But he hasn’t exactly been doing things to ingratiate himself to the fan base ever since.

Smith opted out of the final year of his contract with New York, and briefly explored free agency before signing a three-year deal worth $18 million to stay with the Knicks.

Just a week later, he underwent knee surgery, and said that the decision to wait on the medical procedure until after his new contract was signed was completely by design.

From Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

J.R. Smith said he delayed having surgery on his knee until after he signed his contract with the New York Knicks because it “made more sense for my family.”

“For one, I’m a father and I have two young children to look after,” Smith said Monday. “It made more sense for my family to get a deal done before [surgery].”

Smith had surgery on his left knee a week after signing a three-year, $18 million contract with the Knicks. If he’d had surgery earlier in the summer, Smith might have been healthy enough to play in training camp. If he’d had surgery earlier in the summer, though, it might have impacted his value as a free agent.

Smith was also suspended five games for violating the league’s drug policy, something he apologized for but will impact the team that committed financially to him nonetheless.

It’s weird how fans tend to side with the organization on issues like these — after all, if the Knicks are your favorite team and one of their important players engaged in some underhanded dealing to secure a contract, you’re upset that the team was technically taken advantage of.

But looking at it from Smith’s position, the reality is that most people would be hard-pressed to have handled things any differently.

  1. coryfor3 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    What? No one else would do that any different. Would you get knee surgery and then go look for a contract? Smith did what anyone else would do too.

    • 950003cups - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:08 PM

      Been a Knicks fan since before I could walk. But I can’t ever blame someone for pulling the wool over that snake in the grass, James Dolan. Good for JR.

      Basically.

      JR sheisted the sheister.

  2. coryfor3 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    No one was taken advantage of. Get a physical if you want. The team is in the best bargaining position.

  3. alexb1234 - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    what an a-hole – he’s taking the Sprewell standpoint…like he’s broke or something…maybe if he stopped partying every night he’d have more money saved up….

    I understand waiting helped your family because you have more money but come on JR…it shows you are more about yourself then the team….if you’re about the team then you should give all the money back to the Knicks until you are healthy to go – that includes your 5 game suspension for smoking weed….

    I really think that for JR that “family” is a code word for nose

  4. ironpeddler255 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Two dysfunctional entities trying to screw one another….move along, nothing to see here.

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