As a fan, I’m definitely a member of the Jerry Seinfeld Laundry School. That is, I do tend to root for the team more than getting attached to any individual player. The goal of winning a championship (ha!) remains paramount, even if that can seem somewhat cold when a player to which I formerly wed my widdle heart is sent packing. And yes, sometimes a cold, pragmatic analysis gets bumfuzzled by feels. Sometimes, you just like certain dudes no matter how much your head tells you that that is not. A. Good. Idea.
Which brings us to J.R. Smith. Call me crazy, but he was my favorite Knick since Allan Houston and Chris Childs. Why? Well, a part of it has to do with the fact that like myself, he spent much of his late teenage years and 20s being a serious fuck up. Empathy requires understanding, y’all. I’m also a big fan of people, who let their guard down. In this wholly mediated and branded sporting world we live in, that’s a rare thing. And whether you agreed or disagreed with what Smith said he was always himself. I truly dig that.
J.R.’s time with the Knicks had a slew of good, more-than-we’d-like moats of bad and, most importantly, a shit ton of fun. Over the past 15 years there hasn’t been much of that.
So come with me for a brief stroll down memory lane. This is your J.R. Smith memorial post, Knicker-backers.
J.R. Smith’s Debut in Knicks-Mavericks on ABC. New York won 104-97
Smith scored 15 points in 30 minutes and even helped out defensively getting time defending Dirk Nowitzki.
This was Mike Woodson’s first game as head coach after Mike D’Antoni was fired. The Knicks crushed Blazers 121-79 .
The start of arguably the best Knicks tradition during the J.R. Smith era — the Steve Novak-J.R. three-point barrage in blowouts. They combined for 13, seven from Smith and six from Novak, and I believe all seven from J.R. were in the second half.
The Knicks beat the Celtics 118-108 in a nationally televised game on TNT. Round two of the Smith and Novak show.
This time they combined for 15. Novak led the way with eight including a dagger late in the fourth quarter and Smith followed closely with seven.
Game Three of the Knicks-Heat first round playoff series. The outcome of this series from some reason escapes my mind. LALALALALA NOPE NOT ACKNOWLEDGING IT.
What I will choose to recall from my selective memory is this fantastic J.R. Smith dunk. BOOM.
The Knicks knocked off the Bobcats 100-98 with Melo having to leave game with some sort of finger injury I believe.
Jason Kidd tries to lick J.R. Smith’s ear. A great moment in Knicks history.
The Knicks pulled past the Suns 99-97 in Phoenix with no Carmelo Anthony, Ray Felton or Iman Shumpert.
Everyone remembers the J.R. Smith buzzer beater, but I’m putting in video with full game highlights because the shot he hit to tie the game at 97 might have been even more absurd. I was supposed to go to this game and no one I worked with would switch shifts with me. I hate all of you forever.
The Knicks romped the Spurs 100-83. New York swept San Antonio this season. The Knicks were good enough to win not one, but two games against the Spurs. This was less than three years ago. I’m not mad or anything. I loved this god damn team so much fuck I’m getting sad.
J.R. SMITH AND PABLO PRIGIONI MAKING BEAUTIFUL THINGS HAPPEN
February 1st through February 4th — J.R. Smith takes all of the three pointers
96-86 win against Bucks — 13 of Smith’s 14 shot attempts were threes. He made five of them.
120-81 win against Kings — 14 of Smith’s 16 shot attempts were threes. He made seven of them.
99-85 win against the Pistons — 13 of Smith’s 15 shot attempts were threes. He made five of them.
In a three-game stretch J.R. took 45 shots and 89% of them were three pointers. J.R. Smith is the motherfucking GOAT.
February 21st J.R. Smith and Pipe
The Knicks fall to the Thunder 95-94 in a valiant effort without Carmelo Anthony
Thabo, how’d it feel to get shook bad by J.R. Smith. You might have won the game, but you lost — you lost so very very badly.
J.R. just showing off
JR’s March and April to close the regular season
During the final two months J.R. Smith became a rim attacking maniac. He played some of the best basketball of his entire career. The numbers: 22 points on 45% shooting with 6.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals. This stretch clinched the the Sixth Man of the Year Award and was Smith’s peak as a Knicks player.
The Knicks dumped Celtics 87-71 in Game Two of their first round playoff series.
GUITAR DANCE CELEBRATION GUITAR DANCE CELEBRATION GUITAR DANCE CELEBRATION
I want to ride my bike. I want to ride my bicycle. I want to ride it where I like.
Not exactly sure which Pistons game this was at, but it was awesome.
J.R. Smith played with kids at halftime. It was adorable.
J.R. Smith defends Chris Smith
The Knicks knocked off the Kings 107-99 behind a franchise-record tying nine three pointers from J.R. Smith
The Knicks lost to the Heat 102-91, but J.R. Smith broke an NBA record attempting 22 threes and the franchise record he co-owned with 10 three pointers.
For context in this you have to go back to the previous two games. Coming in Smith had made 14-28 threes — so in a three-game stretch he made 24-50 threes. 24 of 50 threes in THREE GAMES. Bow down to J.R. Smith tha god.
The horror of untying sneakers
God forbid you have fun while playing basketball. J.R. Smith got destroyed for untying players’ sneakers. I laughed a lot.
Thanks for the memories J.R. You will be missed.