(But also out. Tough break.)
(via Oskar Jamtander)
(But also out. Tough break.)
(via Oskar Jamtander)
Guess what I heard from this guy on the internet who works for the paper of record. This:
JR Smith will be announced as Sixth Man of the Year this afternoon.
Ol’ Pipes here led the league in bench scoring at 18.1 ppg, so it’s no surprise he’s taking home award. He also plays for the Knicks and is therefore on TV all the time, dunks a lot and is exciting to watch — though as you’ll see in that video, not always entirely for doing good things — so it’s quadrupley no surprise he’s taking this award home. Not to mention, a bunch of us picked him as our Sixth Man of the Year, so I’m sure that probably had to do something to enhance his candidacy.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Smith’s award-winning campaign comes during a season where he can opt out of his contract in the summer. And after eight seasons of preferring to chuck threes, it’s not a coincidence that Smith would post a season where he takes (and makes) a higher percentage of twos than ever before. It’s a neo-classic contract year situation — in that it’s only kind of a contract year, since he isn’t technically in a contract year until he opts out of next year’s deal — and the Knicks are better off for having him during it. (And considering the last two Sixth Men — Lamar Odom and James Harden — were traded the summer after taking home the hardware, maybe losing your best bench player is just the way love goes.)
So yeah, J.R. Smith is our first award winner of the season. How does that make you feel and how do you feel about him winning it? Leave those answers in the comments because we’re all living in J.R. Smith’s world now. Pipes all around.
Well, I’m speechless. And really, that seems like the proper reaction.
(via Oakley and Allen)
It’s not uncommon for teams to sign players in the last couple of days of the season. Good teams do it in order to have them available as depth in the playoffs — all players are playoff eligible, regardless of when they are signed, as long as they weren’t on a different NBA roster at close of business on March 1st. Bad teams do it, almost always with an unguaranteed contract through the following season, as an extended tryout of sorts, as a means of locking in a future piece they want to get an extended look at. That player might only ever be a future piece of their summer league team, but still. No risk, and a potentially mediocre reward.
Rare is the day, though, that this happens with “name” players. Yet it just did — the Knicks bringing back Quentin Richardson, and the Spurs bringing in Tracy McGrady, is largely unprecedented in terms of name recognition. These late signings are normally for the Marqus Blakely, Lawrence Funderburke, Larry Owens types, not players with a combined 27 years and $219 million in NBA salary between them. It hasn’t really happened before, and we shouldn’t really have been expecting it to either.
Fresh from starting small forward Chris Copeland as a de facto center two games ago, and with journeyman power forward Solomon Jones there last game, the Knicks have now apparently decided they’re absolutely fine for big man depth, and cut Jones, their sole healthy big, for some more wing mediocrity. This, at the risk of sounding harsh, is all Richardson provides. It’s been six years since he was a good NBA player; the athleticism has gone, the defense isn’t remarkable, and, if it’s not too ridiculous of a thing to say of the man with the 44th most three-point makes of all-time, the jumpshot was only ever average. Richardson will not provide any more for this Knicks team that Copeland or even James White could not already have done. If you’re going to sign some mediocre depth as emergency depth for the playoffs, shouldn’t you at least sign someone that plays your most needed position?
McGrady, at least, does that. By waiving Stephen Jackson for concerns about his attitude, after many months of assuaging doubters by saying, “it’s all right, it’s only because he cares so much about winning!,” San Antonio’s incredibly deep roster has the smallest of small holes. It lacks an extra small forward with size, experience, and some defensive versatility, and it lacks a quality passing forward in light of Boris Diaw’s injury. McGrady is those things, and he further brings a streaky jump shot and some experience. It’s mostly experience of underachieving and first round playoff exits, but perhaps even that counts for something.
Neither signing changes much. There’s no one you can sign on April 16th that can change much. In theory, however, they may have at least one useful night. It’s entirely possible that Richardson hits three threes in a playoff game, writing his own feel-good comeback story, and continuing the myth that he’s a shooter. It’s equally entirely possible that McGrady, despite probably being twelfth on the depth chart, fills a small but useful role in all games. He brings a versatile enough skill set to do that. That’s the theory, at least, and it costs only two unwanted players and a few thousand dollars to find out.
No risks, and potentially mediocre rewards.
Rasheed Wallace is retiring again, making him the second most famous UNC alum to retire from the NBA more than once, so what better way to honor him than with six minutes of him yelling his catchphrase? I can think of no better tribute, outside of all of us dyeing a white patch in our hair.
While you consider that, I’ll be over here laughing about Rasheed Wallace. Going to miss you, big guy.
I know what you guys are thinking and I’m thinking it too — where is J.R. Smith going to put this mythical tattoo if the Knicks do end up winning the championship? And while I’d love to suggest his surprisingly bare elbows or maybe a tasteful face tattoo to honor his achievement, the honest answer is that we just don’t know and it’s hard to offer a real guess at J.R.’s plans. I’m just here to let you know he’s thinking about it.
J.R. Smith has 100 tattoos, including Yankees and Devils logos.
If the Knicks break their 40-year championship drought, Smith vowed to add orange-and-blue ink to his body for No. 101.
Yes, a Knicks tattoo could be coming, even though he is a free agent this summer.
“If we win a championship, I’ll definitely get it,’’ Smith told The Post. “Other than that, I’m not sure yet.’’
Smith is a devout Yankees fan and, as a Freehold, N.J., native, the Devils are his favorite hockey team. But he has been more discriminate lately about adding more tattoos — he is running out of space. He hasn’t had a new addition since joining the Knicks 14 months ago.
“My mother, she loves them now, but she probably wishes I didn’t have so many,’’ Smith said.
You know what’s great about this quote? That it’s really easy to play Most and Least Surprising Thing Said with it, a game that everyone loves, plays and knows exists.
Least Surprising, obviously, is that J.R. Smith’s mom “probably wishes” her son didn’t have so many tattoos. Yeah, probably. Moms are like that. Most Surprising, again obviously I would think, is that J.R. Smith hasn’t got a new tattoo in more than a year. How do you get 100 tattoos in 10ish years (he started at 15) and then go cold turkey while still clearly thinking about getting more tattoos? That is incredible restraint, which is pretty much the exact opposite of what you think of with regards to J.R. Smith and his tattoos. I mean, it was a little more than a year ago that it was a legitimate question of whether or not he had more tattoos than skin, and he stopped? I’m actually more surprised that he doesn’t have a Knicks one yet, rather than that he’d be getting another one if they win.
But I guess getting a little more ink to celebrate a first championship makes sense too. It’s not quite Jason Terry calling a Mavericks championship with a preseason tattoo, but celebratory ink is pretty standard procedure at this point. Even your humble author got his first one to honor a stellar performance on the ACT. So if J.R. Smith wants to get tatted because the Knicks win a title, I totally get it. Lucky for him, he won’t have to decide what to get and where to get it if the Knicks don’t win the championship, so don’t be surprised if that face stays tattoo-free.
The equally injured Bulls and Knicks played basketball last night. And even though Steve “No Contact” Novak is the only player who took the court who is listed taller than 6-foot-9, there were still physical moments in a game that most closely resembled a men’s league, where the tallest player on the court is the default center and everyone just guarded whoever on the other team was their same size. The majority of those moments came when Carlos Boozer and Carmelo Anthony were matched up in the post, which makes sense since those were the only two players in the game who have any sort of postup acumen.
But even though Melo has been getting his power forward on this season, he wasn’t quite ready for Boozer’s shoulders and screaming style of basketball. Which led to this quote, courtesy of Newsday’s Al Iannazzone:
“Boozer is Boozer,” Anthony said. “Sometimes I don’t think Boozer be knowing what he be doing out there as far as clearing out and the way he plays. He’s so wide, shoulders is wide, elbows just be flaring. I think sometimes he doesn’t know what he’s doing out there.”
Yes, fair. That is a big part of Boozer’s weirdly effective offense game — he’s just one of 17 players this season who is averaging at least 16 points a game on at least 47 percent shooting, and the other 16 players are all really good — wherein he just bashes in to people because he’s certainly not jumping over them. And even though I can’t confirm this, I feel like that’s part of the reason he has a last name that rhymes with “Bruiser.” It can’t just be coincidence.
But since he mentioned it, we should probably let Carmelo Anthony know that there are a whole bunch of other times when Carlos Boozer doesn’t know what he’s doing. These include but are not limited to the following:
Obviously there are a lot of times when Carlos Boozer doesn’t know what he’s doing, but like Carmelo Anthony said, “Boozer is Boozer.” That doesn’t hold quite the caché of “Manny being Manny,” but I think it’s a fair substitute. And hey, if you can think of other times Carlos Boozer doesn’t know what he’s doing, let’s hear em.
(via Beyond the Buzzer)