An unfavorable opinion of the Knicks’ J.R, Smith is not unpopular at the moment. He’s been playing like absolute garbage this year following his award-winning 2012 season, to the point where his most notable on-the-court action has been untying other players’ shoes and getting fined for it. And we don’t really need to mention what a moron he’s been off the floor, do we? Alright, fine, here you go.
But while most sportswriters would tell you J.R. is acting a fool, or playing himself out of the rotation, or otherwise lambaste him, we haven’t seen a takedown quite like the one Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski published early this morning.
Here are some of the choicest passages:
The scathing opening line:
Within days of J.R. Smith arriving armed with a historic $3 million contract, Zhejiang of the Chinese Basketball League had come to regret signing the clown prince of basketball.
Smith’s insane behavior in China:
Perhaps his greatest excess of idiocy had been a weekend of running a room service bill into the proximity of $3,000, a source with direct knowledge told Yahoo Sports. He kept ordering food, stacking piles of trays upon trays – “just to see if they would keep bringing it to the room,” the source said.
All uneaten, all on the franchise’s tab – all a window into a fool.
On his upbringing:
He can make it sound so sincere, but the con never ends. J.R. Smith was raised in a suburban, middle-class home with two good parents and access to an excellent education. He had a tremendous high school coaching mentor – Dan Hurley at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J. – and he has long been taught the difference of right and wrong. Smith’s always loved to play the part of a tough city kid, but truth be told, he’s a soft, spoiled suburban jump-shooter.
And, fittingly, on the team that enables his actions:
J.R. Smith is 28-years old, and it is too late to threaten and punish a spoiled, suburban kid. No trade, no epiphanies, no changes. The Knicks deserve J.R. Smith, and he’ll belong to them until the bitter end.
There are two things that make the article so shocking: the sheer number of idiotic anecdotes that Woj (can we call him Woj?) was able to compile about a 28-year-old professional basketball player, and the fact that — as Tony Manfred of BI Sports puts it — this is “probably the harshest thing you’ll read about a player from a writer of Wojnarowski’s status.”
We feel fine making fun of Smith. We’re probably not going to run into him tomorrow (and if we do, he’s from Freehold, so, whatever). But Woj’s career is based on being an NBA insider. He wouldn’t have written something like this unless it was warranted.
Definitely read the whole thing. You’ll see that Woj’s frustration is rooted in knowledge of Smith’s past — not just the mercurial guard’s actions this season.
Photo via Getty