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J.R. Smith wants to be leader for Knicks this season

Aug 22, 2014, 1:05 PM EST

Charlotte Bobcats v New York Knicks Getty Images

Don’t snicker.

On paper J.R. Smith should be a leader. He is a 10-year NBA veteran, a former Sixth Man of the Year, he’s the kind of guy younger players should look to on how to stick in the league, what works and what doesn’t on the court. They may not want to look to him for shot selection advice, or money management, but he can be a leader in other ways. In theory.

That’s what he wants to be — a leader. That’s what Smith told ESPNNewYork.com.

“Be a leader,” Smith said in an interview with ESPNNewYork.com on Thursday at his foundation’s annual golf fundraiser. “We’ve got so many younger guys around. A lot of the older guys left within the last two years. So be more of a leader and help out….

“Just ‘show instead of say’ and stuff like that,” Smith, speaking at his fundraiser for the J.R. Smith Youth Foundation at Eagle Ridge Golf Club, said when asked about his leadership approach. “‘Sheed [Rasheed Wallace], J Kidd [Jason Kidd] — those guys led by example and that’s what I’m going to try to do.”

That is great to hear him say, it’s what he should do. I hope it works out for him.

Watching Smith and his gunner, ball-stopping tendencies try to fit in the move-the-ball, read and react triangle offense is going to be interesting. To put it kindly. It may be Derek Fisher’s biggest test. Based on Smith’s history, this has disaster written all over it. He takes shots that would unbalance a system based on spacing and balance.

But maybe he has matured. Maybe he is ready to tweak his game to fit in the team system. That’s what leaders do.

  1. zerole00 - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Isn’t it a contract year for him?

  2. montrealknowledge - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    I really really really dislike JR Smith.

  3. blurocpurp - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    JR is my dawg but come on man! we all know your a ot of things but leader is not one of them. as a knicks fan i hope it works out though.

  4. 88heatnation - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Well here goes the Joke of The Day.

  5. sportsfan18 - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    J.R. is Melo-lite

    • money2long - Aug 22, 2014 at 4:05 PM

      This comment proves sportsfan’s opinions on Carmelo Anthony should never be taken seriously.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 22, 2014 at 7:42 PM

        Money…

        let’s go to the stats shall we? instead of opinions as we all have those…

        going into last season, both Melo and J.R. were outside the top 200 in all time true shooting percentage. Melo climbed up to 194th place with a good yr last yr.

        Put it this way, Melo and J.R. are closer to each other in true shooting percentage than they are to folks like the following…

        KD
        LBJ

      • money2long - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:58 PM

        stats does not define someone’s game. as doug heffernan would say..shutty!

      • cruzan80 - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:10 PM

        @money2long

        “This comment proves sportsfan’s opinions on Carmelo Anthony should never be taken seriously.”

        Ever…

  6. proxysays - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Leader in air balls

  7. chip56 - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    As a Knick fan I would love for him to be a leader…on another team.

  8. spursareold - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    JR Smith is a pea brain with basketball talent. He’s not a leader, though, and never will be.

  9. reesesteel23 - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Field goal attempts, guys. He means leader in FGA

  10. cruzan80 - Aug 22, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    “his gunner, ball-stopping tendencies try to fit in the move-the-ball, read and react triangle offense is going to be interesting. To put it kindly. It may be Derek Fisher’s biggest test.”

    Don’t let a little thing like facts get in the way of your opinion.

    In the final 43 games of the season (after Smith’s second shoelace-related benching), J.R. averaged 16.7 PPG on 45% shooting and knocked down 42% of his 3-point attempts; in the 31 games prior, Smith hit just 34% of his 3s.
    Smith was even more valuable later in the season for the Knicks. Once inserted into the starting lineup for the final 22 games, Smith averaged 18.1 PPG as the Knicks finished the season 16-6.

    Smith hit 45% of his catch-and-shoot attempts last season, including 46.2% on catch-and-shoot 3s last season, per SportVU.com. That 3-point % was the sixth highest among players who attempted at least 1.5 catch-and-shoot 3-point shots per game. That kind of efficiency is exactly what fits well in the triangle offense, which, when run properly, produces ample open jump shots.

    Can he be a “leader”? Sure, he is human last I checked. He’s 28 years old. He won’t be the 1st or the last man who didn’t mature until he was about to turn 30.

    As a Knick fan, I’m pleased to hear him talk this way but I honestly couldn’t care less if JR Smith a leader or not. Just stay healthy & play well. Whoever the leader(s) on the team are will eventually reveal themselves as such.

  11. money2long - Aug 22, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    I’ve watched jr.
    I Know he can be a facilitator and fit well in the triangle. I don’t doubt Phil would trade him for the right piece. But I also don’t doubt Phil sees his potential in this system. People think he’s incapable of doin anything other than shoot. Jr has great ability to do other things. And I see him doin well this season.

  12. eugenesaxe1 - Aug 22, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    Isn’t this the same guy who threatened to call his peeps on Numbers St. and sit on another NBA player for a min?

  13. csbanter - Aug 22, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    JR can ball first of all, ok so he is not a likable guy because he doesn’t seem to take his craft seriously but let’s not act like he’s a bum. We’ve all seen him light it up. C’mon now

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