J.R. Smith continues to do his thing—miss shots and create waves.
During the New York Knicks' victory over the Chicago Bulls, head coach Mike Woodson chided Smith for his poor shot selection, according to the New York Daily News' Frank Isola. Never one to shy away from confrontation, Smith reportedly had some words of his own for Woodson:
According to a team source, Woodson admonished Smith for poor shot selection during the Bulls game and then became upset over something Smith said on the bench. Woodson waited until after the game to express his disappointment with Smith’s attitude and reminded the volatile shooting guard that he’s been his strongest advocate for the past two seasons.
"Mike said that after all I’ve done for you I can’t have you talking back to me like that," the source claimed. The same source added that Smith made a lewd comment that angered Woodson.
Good move, Swish. Argue with Coach Woody after he's defended you more than anyone else these last two seasons. Good move.
Because Smith is Smith, the drama didn't end there. The tumultuous shooting guard followed his 2-of-8 shooing performance against Chicago by taking only one shot in New York's loss to the Boston Celtics.
"I don’t know what that’s about," Woody said of Smith attempting one shot afterward, per Isola.
Most of us have a pretty good idea what that was about: retaliation. Smith cut off his nose to spite his face. "I'll show Woodson," he could have thought to himself. "I'll show them all."
Revenge wasn't on the menu if you ask Smith, though. Per Isola, he was focusing on creating easy opportunities for his teammates:
I was going into the game trying to make opportunities for my teammates to excel. We need playmakers, more than just scorers. My job is to get my teammates the easiest buckets we can and we’re not getting those, so I take it upon myself to sacrifice my shot to get the other guys going. And it might not be the right way, it might be the right way, I don’t know.
For what it's worth, Smith had three assists in 26 minutes against Boston. He's averaging 2.2 a night on the season, so maybe there's something to his claim.
Lashing out at Woodson still doesn't make any sense, regardless of what transpired after. Woodson has been his greatest supporter and helped mold him into the Sixth Man of the Year he became last season. Even this year, amid constant struggles, Woodson has rarely wavered in his belief that Smith is his guy.
Will J.R. Smith ever return to Sixth Man of the Year form?
"I don’t think he’s still 100 percent," Woodson said previously, on ESPN Radio 98.7 FM in New York, as transcribed by the New York Post's Marc Berman. "I don’t know if he’ll ever be this season based on the surgery he had this offseason. I have to be patient with him."
The least Smith can do is show gratitude in return. He's shooting 33.3 percent from the field this season, and he has scored 182 total points on 195 shots. And still, Woodson has played him. Not until New York's victory over the Atlanta Hawks did Woody bench him during crunch time.
This is how Smith thanks him? This is how he thanks the Knicks for allowing him to cash in on his Sixth Man of the Year award? By taking out his frustrations on one of the few people who has believed him?
Stay classy, J.R. Stay classy.