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J.R. Smith says he’d prefer to be a starter

Oct 15, 2013, 9:49 PM EDT

source: AP

J.R. Smith won the Sixth Man of the Year award coming off the bench for the Knicks last season, and was an important reason why the team was potent enough to finish with the second best record in the East.

This season, however, Smith would like a new challenge.

From Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

“I’ve always wanted to start. Everybody knows that,” Smith said. “I won the Sixth Man [Award] last year, so I felt as though there’s nothing left to prove at the sixth-man spot. But at the same time, if that’s what my team needs me to do, that’s what I’ll do. If Coach wants me to be a sixth man, I’ll be a sixth man. If he wants me to start, I’ll start. That’s up to him.”

Iman Shumpert is going to start for New York for a minimum of five regular season games, because that’s the length of Smith’s league-mandated suspension for multiple violations of the NBA’s drug policy.

There’s also the little fact of Smith’s offseason knee surgery, which still has him sidelined from a health standpoint.

Knicks head coach Mike Woodson has publicly said he’s considering starting Smith when he returns, but that seems like more of a motivational tactic with Shumpert than anything else. The reality is that New York needs Shumpert’s defense in its starting lineup more than the team needs Smith’s scoring there, so despite J.R.’s wishes, the starting spot would appear to be Shumpert’s to lose.

  1. drewzducks - Oct 15, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Typo alert. Heading is supposed to read ” JR Smith says he’d prefer to be smarter”.

    • phaden27 - Oct 15, 2013 at 11:22 PM

      I’ll be he ‘d also prefer to play better in the playoffs.

    • phaden27 - Oct 15, 2013 at 11:22 PM

      I’ll bet he ‘d also prefer to play better in the playoffs.

  2. unfly - Oct 15, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    There aren’t enough balls on the court for Smith to start alongside Carmelo.

    • zoomy123 - Oct 16, 2013 at 12:01 AM


  3. dondada10 - Oct 15, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Going by the playoffs, Shump is probably the better defensive and offensive player compared to J.R. Smith.

  4. legend30 - Oct 15, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Knicks organization and teammates prefer you to not drink before a playoffs game.

  5. legend30 - Oct 15, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    J.R. Smith prefer to take this at least 54 shots per game this season, instead of 45 last season.

  6. bougin89 - Oct 16, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    JR Smith has a PER of 16.1 in the playoffs with the Knicks. Oops, that’s combining both of his playoff PER’s together.

  7. eugenesaxe1 - Oct 16, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    Apparently, he’d prefer to be a stoner too.

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