JR Smith was recently asked for his thoughts on the Knicks’ upcoming season in an interview with Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com
"Right now with the talent we have, what it says on paper is championship all day. But it's a matter of us going out there and doing it," Smith said after appearing at an event in Harlem at Nike's House of Hoops to promote/give away some Nike sneakers to children.
Smith says he goes into every season with a "championship or bust" mentality.
Pretty standard answer, showing confidence, expecting to win a title. But Begley’s original piece isn’t flashy enough and, frankly, it’s a little boring. At least according to Eric Freeman of Ball Don’t Lie
and Kurt Helin of NBC Sports Talk
Helin basically calls Smith a crazy person for thinking the Knicks could ever even get past the Heat and Celtics. Freeman spends almost the entirety of his article lambasting Smith as well, but then at least points out that Smith can’t really say anything else at the very end of his piece, albeit sort of thrown in.
That brings us to the point. What exactly is
Smith supposed to say? “When you look at the sabermetrics and breakdowns, the offense really slows down with the ball in Carmelo’s hands and, truthfully, we need to be more up-tempo. Amar’e needs to return to his drive-and-dunk mentality from two years ago and hopefully we don’t regret letting Jeremy Lin go. Aside from all of our glaring weaknesses, I think we still have a solid group. I’d say 6th seed at best.”
Of course not. Yet Helin and Freeman, and countless others I’m sure, flock to it as a way to say JR Smith is some kind of raving maniac and, in Helin’s case, that Knicks fans are dumb too. Because why not.
But if they just report what Smith said, like Begley, that won’t get as many page views. That won’t be edgy and “witty” enough. And, in fairness, no one really cares about Jeremy Lin anymore, the Dwight Howard front has been quiet, and all the other usual NBA tropes are in hibernation. Desperate for page views, we should expect this type of nonsense.