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‘Melo says he had “heart to heart” talk with J.R. Smith

Oct 25, 2013, 1:35 PM EDT

J.R. Smith, Carmelo Anthony AP

J.R. Smith is expected to play in his first preseason game Friday night (the Knicks final one). He had knee surgery this summer, but he put it off until he had signed a new three-year, $18 million contract, which pushed the rehab back into training camp.

When the season starts Smith will miss the first five games due to a league suspension for testing positive for marijuana three times. Sort of like how Smith missed a playoff game against Boston after throwing an elbow to Jason terry’s head (and Smith’s production dropped off after that incident). And that’s not even getting into Smith’s interesting offseason.

Carmelo Anthony wants to win and if that’s going to happen in New York Smith has to step up, he has to be more efficient. So Anthony basically told Smith it’s time to grow up. Those are my words, not his, here is how Anthony phrased it to Newsday.

“I had a heart-to-heart with him,” Anthony said Thursday at the Tools for Teachers Initiative in Brooklyn, an event involving his foundation and a real estate development company where school supplies were distributed to over 100 teachers from all five boroughs. “I had a talk that two men should have. We had that conversation. It seemed like he took heed to what I was saying, so we shall see….

“The time is now,” Anthony said. “You’ve got to want to help yourself. Everybody else wants to help you, but if you don’t want to help yourself, then that’s defeating the purpose.”

Anthony isn’t the only one with a little tough love for Smith, coach Mike Woodson said he needed to grow up. Anthony and Smith were teammates in Denver before both landing in New York. There’s a relationship there. Anthony said he saw maturation from Smith last season but there needs to be more. “Turn over a new leaf” was Anthony’s cliché phrase.

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Once he comes back from suspension, Smith needs to just put this all in the past and move on. He’s the defending Sixth Man of the Year in the NBA and if the Knicks want to win the Atlantic or advance past the second round of the playoffs, he’s going to have to be all that and find a way to do it a little more efficiently. He can’t just be a fearless gunner.

So we shall see…

  1. kingwithringz - Oct 25, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    There is always a guy that could be great if he focuses and does the right thing. But than they never grow up and you’re stuck wondering “what if”? I hope that isn’t the case here.

  2. jaredo10 - Oct 25, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    I agree. hoping we see a more mature JR this season

  3. sellahh - Oct 25, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Yeah, wonderful time to talk about maturity. JR already got praised for having matured last regular season and when the playoffs came we all know how he acted. So yeah, great time to talk about maturity.

  4. kwhyh8strm - Oct 25, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    The bottom line is you can’t be throwing up “bricks” in the playoffs!

    • kanemoney - Oct 26, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      Was that aimed at Melo or JR?

      • adamsjohn714 - Oct 26, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        Don’t us the words aim, Melo, and JR in the same sentence.

  5. phaden27 - Oct 25, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Eddie Franklin ain’t walking through that door!

  6. casualcommenter - Oct 25, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Good attempt at leadership by Melo.

    We’ll see how much the message sticks with JR in the regular season and especially in the playoffs. The East looks frankly stacked this year, and the playoffs are when they’ll need him the most.

  7. katra2logic - Oct 25, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Thumbs up for Melo supporting the ‘Tools for Teachers Initiative’

    • jimeejohnson - Oct 26, 2013 at 12:12 PM

      Thumbs downs courtesy of ignorance and stupidity.

  8. saint1997 - Oct 25, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    I never thought this would ever be said when it comes to the Knicks, but they are being severely overlooked this season. This was a stellar team last year that has made (albeit slight) internal and external improvements

  9. kungfubowler - Oct 25, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    Now, who’s going to have a “talk” with Melo?

    • program33 - Oct 25, 2013 at 8:12 PM


  10. terrathrax - Oct 25, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Who cares. The Knicks will still be mediocre at best this year, and that makes me happy.

    • jimeejohnson - Oct 26, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      Jason Kidd?

  11. bowmanj35 - Oct 25, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    it went something like this… “JR, my thuggish lil bro, there’s only gonna be one ball hoggin, poor shot selection, headline grubbin dude on this team. and its me.”

  12. pistolpete0903 - Oct 26, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    The conversation would be like: Where would be your next tattoo at?

  13. bowmanj35 - Oct 26, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    ummmm, both…..

  14. jimeejohnson - Oct 26, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Also discussed the best Chinese food in the city.

  15. sfm073 - Oct 26, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    You can’t fix stupid. He’ll be out of the league in 5 years and broke by 7.

  16. skinsfanwill - Oct 28, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    This dude is “almost” Gilbert Arenas stupid. There is no fixing that. Good luck Knicks. How about figuring out how to play some damn defense mano y mano. Tyson can’t do it all by himself.

    • christiancnv - Oct 31, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      Well, actually, the Knicks had the 7th lowest points per game allowed last season at around 95. Their defense was one of the best in the league. Pay attention, son.

      • Kurt Helin - Oct 31, 2013 at 11:57 PM

        They were 18th in points allowed per possession, which is what really matters (you can lower points per game by just playing slow, doesn’t make your defense good).

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