“I’m not going to say that we haven’t noticed the things he’s been doing and that it hasn’t been a topic of discussion in the locker room,” said Anthony. “It most definitely has. And thank God for what J.R. has been doing, because if we weren’t talking about him, we’d be talking about how we play basketball — and, yikes, that would be depressing. On a horrible basketball team like this one, a guy like J.R. Smith is just the distraction you need to make it through a season.”
Power forward Amar’e Stoudemire echoes Anthony’s comments.
“If it wasn’t for J.R. being a distraction, I’m not sure what would get me out of bed in the morning,” said Stoudemire. “Why come to the arena every day just to get humiliated in front of 20,000 people? The only reason I still show up is to see what crazy stuff J.R. will do.”
Mike Woodson says he still wants Smith on the team.
“I know there’s talk we might trade him, but I want him here,” said the head coach. “The more people spend time talking about J.R. Smith and how he’s a distraction, the less time they’ll have to talk about how I have no idea what I’m doing and should be fired.”
Smith feels he’s just doing what he can to help the team.
“Look, we’re not going anywhere even if I play great and just keep my mouth shut,” he said. “So being a distraction is the only alternative. I hoped I’d have some help on the distraction side of things this year with Metta World Peace coming in, but he’s been sort of a disappointment so far.”
Smith then excused himself to untie a reporter’s shoelaces and set off some fireworks in a locker room trash can.
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