It’s been a long time since we’ve checked in on the status of J.R. Smith’s jeans, especially considering we’ve never checked in on his jeans. Nonetheless, it seems pretty obvious to me that J.R. Smith is a jeans kind of guy. Maybe it is the more tattoos than skin thing.
But au contraire, mon frère — J.R. Smith may be a jeans guy, but Mike Woodson has him stepping up his suit game as well. And Mike Woodson loves it when J.R. Smith steps up his suit game. From the New York Post:
Knicks coach Mike Woodson vowed last season to make J.R. Smith “more professional’’ and a better player and better person. Mission accomplished.
Woodson said Smith is surging in all areas. Last spring, Woodson got on Smith about wearing his “sagging’’ jeans — a hip-hop look in which his underwear shows — to the arena. There was Smith late Tuesday night in the visiting locker room in Orlando, donning a suit, his baby daughter in his arms, showing her off to teammates.
“You see how he dresses when he comes to the games now,’’ Woodson said Wednesday. “He looks very professional. He’s in a suit. It’s beautiful to see, man. That’s not to say he doesn’t wear jeans and do some of things he was doing. That’s a start. I like everything about him. There’s something there I like. I’m going to make sure he’s successful.’’
Woodson continued, I am guessing, to say, “Pants on the ground. Pants on the ground. Looking like a fool with your pants on the ground.”
But really, J.R. Smith has been awesome this season, looking like the best possible version of J.R. Smith that anyone could imagine. His PER, True Shooting percentage and Effective Field Goal percentage are all career-highs and he’s currently leading the league in three-point percentage. His usage rate is basically the same as it’s been his entire career and he’s assisting on a higher percentage of teammate’s baskets than in all but one of his eight seasons. So basically, he’s using the same amount of possessions as he always has while making more of the shots he’s taking and moving the ball more effectively when he doesn’t have a look. Oh, and he’s tied for the team lead in steals and has only turned the ball over five times in five games. If Jamal Crawford was never born, he’s the Sixth Man of the Year so far.
Who knows how long this stuff is going to last, but it certainly seems like all the old guys on the Knicks have rubbed off on J.R. Smith. If he keeps it up and continues to wear grownup pants, he might just have to change his name to Earl again.