Did J.R. Smith Just Put A Hit Out On Brandon Jennings?

  • Jake O'Donnell

The New York Knicks signed J.R. Smith this offseason to a 3-year $17 million deal. His brother, Chris Smith, was signed for $2 million to play in the D-League. People are beginning to think that the $2 million deal is a roundabout way of paying J.R. more than the collective bargaining agreement would allow them to pay him directly. It’s totally possible: Chris Smith isn’t an NBA talent by anyone’s estimation. His contract could very well be a perk in J.R. Smith’s contract.

Then there’s this.

[ESPN] Beyond that, Chris Smith is represented by Creative Artists Agency, which is an added layer to the Knicks’ decision to keep him. CAA represents the Smith brothers and has close ties to the Knicks and Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, Woodson, assistant GM Allan Houston and front-office member Mark Warkentien are also represented by the agency.

Some rival agents believe Chris Smith’s roster spot with the Knicks was locked in as a package deal when J.R. Smith re-signed with the team in July.

Ok. The Knicks are running a very PG version of money laundering through the D-League. Great.

It gets worse.

Other NBA players don’t take too kindly to this kind of negotiating. The National Basketball Association is a fraternity of the world’s best basketball players, and getting paid is a function of hard work and talent and dedication and sacrifice and blah blah blah — Chris Smith doesn’t deserve $2 million from an NBA team and other players know it. That rubbed Pistons PG Brandon Jennings the wrong way. Here’s what he tweeted (and subsequently retracted):

[Via CBSsports] “Wait wait wait JR smith brother is in the NBA but @PoohJeter & @BBROWNLAU isn’t. Call me hater but not Rollin!!!”

The two guys he names are Pooh Jeter and Bobby Brown, who both currently play professionally overseas. Is Jennings just hating or does he have a legitimate point that Chris Smith is taking a roster spot from guys who actually deserve it? That question will have to wait, because J.R. Smith saw what Jennings wrote, and things got out of control, fast.

What’d you expect the pipemaster to do? Back down? He’s insane — of course he’s going to make this into a news story, even if Jennings didn’t mean any disrespect.

Then J.R. tweeted this threat that could get him suspended. Hell, if I was commissioner I’d think about kicking him out of the league for good (and I’m a Knicks fan). The tweet has obviously been removed, as if that matters. He might as well have left a voicemail on the answering machines of his 452,117 followers.

[Via CBSsports] Might call some of my Number street homies an put #Detroit on smash for a min! #DeadSerious

— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) November 14, 2013

What do you think that means? Chris even chimed in by trying to cover his brother’s ass…

To which J.R. immediately reinserted his foot to his mouth.