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You Can’t Count On J.R. Smith…The Knicks Can Count On That

The idiot version of J.

The idiot version of J.R. Smith has let the Celtics — who were all but dead and buried — back into this series against the Knicks.

Knicks supporters have tried their hardest to separate the last 40 years of Knicks championship-futility from this “new” Knicks team, which, at times, has given us reason to believe that they have a more reliable DNA than past clubs.

There have been numerous games over the years where the Knicks inability to act with class and/or hit a shot have either pissed away championship possibilities or increased the difficulty of that task.

The Game 5 loss to Miami during the ‘93-‘94 season comes to mind. The brawl between Charlie Ward and P.J. Brown led to Patrick Ewing, Allan Houston, Larry Johnson and John Starks getting one-game suspensions spread out over the series' final two games. Ewing, Houston and Ward were suspended for Game 6; Johnson and Starks were suspended for Game 7, for leaving the bench. The short-handed Knicks were in a position to dethrone the Chicago Bulls that season, but lost games 6 and 7.


The momentum in this Celtics series is beginning to shift, and if the Knicks do go on to become the first team in NBA playoff history to blow a 3-0 lead, they can thank J.R. Smith, whose consistent mental collapses raise suspicion that he should be riding the little yellow bus home from The Garden every day.


This cat’s had more chances than Nate Robinson in an NBA Slam Dunk contest to show that he’s matured as a person and player.

You can’t really kill 'Melo, because every great player has some poor-shooting games. Even the great MJ had some stinkers. Fortunately, Scottie Pippen and a cast of other players were there to pick up the slack. J.R. Smith was supposed to be 'Melo’s wingman. Instead, he’s becoming the new Rasheed Wallace.

After a tumultuous career that’s included conflicts with coaches, a jacked up attitude and a penchant to wild out at the worst times, NY fans still embraced the New Jersey wild boy and Mike Woodson tried to be an encouraging, supportive father figure.


For a hot second, it looked as if Smith had it all together. He won The Sixth Man of the Year award and managed to control himself on the court for the most part. He got his share of technicals, but it didn’t cost the Knicks any crucial games.

That was until déjà vu struck and the Knicks were suckered into idiocy by crafty veteran Jason Terry, who baited Smith into throwing a flagrant elbow, which got him suspended for the Game 4 loss to the Celtics.


The Knicks showed terrible deficiencies without Smith in the mix. You’d think he’d be motivated to make up for his b***h-assness.

It’s unfathomable that Smith would return on Wednesday night for a closeout game at home, after letting the team down so miserably, and shoot 3-14 while getting hit with another technical for talking junk with Jason Terry…with the Knicks down by double-digits and looking super suspect.

Unfortunately, it seems official: Smith doesn’t get it and he never will. At this point, he’s developed such a reputation for lacking self control that any time he’s involved in extracurriculars on the court, he automatically gets blamed.

Adding insult to injury was Raymond Felton, who acted like he wanted to throw joints with some Celtics subs to make sure that he’s not available in Game 6 to be blamed for an epic Knicks collapse.

The Knicks will have to lose two more games to become a permanent member of the NBA’s biggest losers club. Their mannerisms and overall approach suggests that the wheels are falling off. It’s on Woodson and 'Melo to get the whip humming again. One thing the Knicks can count on is that they can’t count on J.R. Smith.



JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The Deputy Editor and Senior Writer is in his 23rd year of covering sports and culture professionally. He began working in major newspapers in 1995 and has covered a cornucopia of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, magazines and national TV.

Gamble has covered World Series, Super Bowls, NBA and MLB All-Star Games, Final Fours, World Cup, NASCAR events and done hundreds of exclusive interviews over the years. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.