Conspiracy and in-fighting involving an NBA player and his brother?
Must be the New York Knicks.
Knicks forward Metta World Peace has been deactivated for Saturday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks with what the front office is claiming to be a knee injury, per Ian Begley of ESPN New York. In his place, the Knicks will activate Chris Smith for the first time this season:
#Knicks say Metta World Peace is out tonight with a sore left knee. Chris Smith is active.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 16, 2013
Metta's brother, Daniel, responded to that news by tweeting—then deleting—a shot directed at the Knicks front office:
Most interesting Knicks brother tweet. RT @DMArtestQB: Ron isn't hurt but Ron isn't playing tonight. I know why but I won't say.— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) November 16, 2013
Before Daniel's outburst, most of the controversy surrounded the activation of Chris Smith. Smith—brother of reigning Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith and perhaps the most famous 15th man in the NBA at this point—has spent quite a bit of time in the news recently for a guy who never plays.
His selection to the Knicks squad was extremely controversial. He was trashed by an anonymous general manager as "maybe the worst player in the history of the [NBA] summer league," per Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. And his brother, J.R., was just fined $25,000 for defending Chris with some inappropriate Twitter comments, per Eurosport.com.
Naturally, the New York fans and media are a bit shocked that the Smith family is still getting everything it wants from the Knicks:
"Your tweeting is not tolerated, JR” “Please, forgive me” “Aww, ok. Let’s make your brother active tonight"— Daniel (@Knicknames) November 16, 2013
But in the wake of Daniel Artest's tweet, the Chris Smith activation is no longer even the most controversial brother-related incident involving the Knicks on Saturday.
So the only thing we know for sure is that Metta won't play. Maybe he's hurt. Maybe the Knicks are mad at him. Maybe he's mad at the Knicks. Maybe the Smiths are mad at Metta, and the Knicks have their back. Maybe James Dolan is just picking players out of a hat at this point.
Oh, you wacky Knicks.