Being a fan of a particular sports team can be both rewarding and harrowing, and the team you root for will mostly dictate how much pleasure you derive from the experience. It hasn’t been a very fun time to be a New York Knicks fan over the last decade or so — they haven’t won a playoff series since 2000 — so there have been plenty of boos raining down from the rafters of Madison Square Garden.

One player who has been a recipient of more verbal abuse from fans than most Knicks is Jared Jeffries. They don’t boo him because he’s lazy or dumb, because he is neither of those things. They boo him because he has an unfortunate tendency to miss uncontested shots. He’s not quite the worst offensive player in the league — that would be Reggie Evans and I’ll fight you if argue otherwise — but he’s pretty awful at that end of the court. Among the 313 NBA players who have taken at least 50 field goal attempts this season, Jeffries’ .349 field goal percentage ranks 288th. If you’re not a stat nerd like I am, allow me to break that down for you: That’s not good.

And so, Jared Jeffries gets booed… a lot. Well, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni has had enough!

“Indulge me for a second, anybody who boos Jared Jeffries has got to reexamine their life a little bit. I love our fans and I like Madison Square Garden, the arena, but here’s a guy who came back to us, minimum contract. He could’ve gone to a lot of other teams. He plays as hard as anybody could possibly ever play, with injuries, everything you ask him. He takes every charge, every dirty play, every rebound. He works every second.”

You hear that, Knicks fans, you big meanies? Coach Mike thinks you should order some copies of Chicken Soup for the Fan of a Perennially Losing Team’s Soul and Don’t Sweat the Blown Layups off Amazon and figure out a way to convert all that negative energy into something more constructive. Instead of booing Jeffries, try yelling “A-plus for effort, Jared!” or “You’ll catch the ball next time it’s passed to you in the post, Jared!”

In all seriousness, good for D’Antoni for sticking up for his guy. Jeffries certainly appreciates the support: “I’ll die for him. I’ll leave blood on the court… because he’s the best coach in the NBA.”

I can’t say I agree with Jeffries about the “best coach” part, but D’Antoni’s heart is obviously bigger than his playbook.

Comments (9)

  1. “that would be Reggie Evans and I’ll fight you if argue otherwise”

    … Unless you ARE Reggie Evans, in which case I’d change my opinion.

  2. Re-examining their lives was a bit off-message; re-examining how they value basketball players is a more appropriate statement. JJ is an extremely effective player despite his offensive shortcomings because he creates extra possessions for his team. NY should be applauding him (and to be fair, i heard (JAR-ED JEFF-RIES) chants break out in two pockets of MSG last night.)

    • “JJ is an extremely effective player…”

      Toney “Turnover Machine” Douglas and the Corpse of Mike Bibby are the only Knicks with lower PERs than Jeffries. Yeah, real effective.

  3. This turnover is why Jared Jeffries gets booed by Knick fans.

    But I don’t know any Knicks fans that were excited about Jeffries when they originally signed him back in ’06. He’s just not that good. He’s always touted for his “defensive versatility” but really he can’t guard any position well.

    And yes he signed for a lot less like D’Antoni said, but that’s because he had gotten a 5-year $30 million contract from the Knicks. For a guy that’s never averaged more than 7 points and 5 boards.

  4. Joel Anthony is worse than Reggie.

    Funny how all three of these guys are the dirt and grind players that do all the little things, and everyone loves them for it, but yeah, they blow on offense.

  5. is this a Knick’s blog of the basketball jones… cmon!

  6. Bismack Biyombo is pretty bad on the offensive side of the court…

  7. Jared kicks ass. If he got points for all the points scored on the possessions he creates through blocks taken or balls he knocks free and creates turnovers he’d be doing ok. He’s even starting to make the lay ups and knock down a shot every once in a while. When I hear any “fan” boo a Knick it makes me ashamed to be a Knicks fan. The idea is to show “support” to the team you support not berate them…

  8. Everything that’s being said here has also been said about Varejao during the LeBron era.

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