The most flamboyant individual to appear on the NBA scene has anointed his successor in the league, Dennis Rodman has crowned J R Smith as the 'New Dennis Rodman'.
The New Rodman
The pair continued to be compared due to the similarities between their off-the-court lifestyles. The original eccentric athlete Rodman has had his say on who reminds him of a younger-version of himself in the NBA.
The story began with New York Knicks President Phil Jackson making the first comparison between Smith and Rodman, Jackson was the head coach of the Chicago Bulls team of the 90's that captured six NBA titles and had Rodman with him for three of those Championships.
The Zen Master will have many first hand experiences of the quirky personality of Rodman and speaking to New York Post's Steve Serby last month, Jackson said Smith is like Rodman in that he has "an outlier kind of side to him."
Now the New York shooting guard himself had absolutely no problem with being compared to Rodman, Smith responded: "Last time I checked Dennis Rodman’s got what three, four rings? I'm not offended by that. It’s an honor. He’s a Hall of Famer. And to be put in the same words as a Hall of Famer is something special. So I’m not offended at all."
Just to clarify Rodman actually won five NBA championships, two with the Detroit Pistons and three with the Bulls like previously mentioned.
The interesting concept of the comparison that Smith may have avoided is that he is being compared to Rodman for his off-the-court demeanour rather than his play style
Smith is heat-check, microwave kind of shooter whilst he shares no comparison to the rebounding, defensive bulldog type of player like Rodman.
Either way it was a comparison that was also endorsed by the man himself as Rodman took to his official twitter account to dub Smith 'The New Rodman', he said:
"Sending love to the zen master @PhilJackson11 and the @nyknicks for this season. Good luck to @therealjrsmith who is the new Dennis Rodman"
One aspect that Smith can take from Rodman's personality and certainly apply to his on-court behaviour is the competitive drive and sometimes aggression that 'The Worm' displayed on a nightly basis.
If the shooting guard can embrace the comparisons and show a determination to learn and succeed under the new triangle system being employed at the Knicks by Jackson, we could certainly see a reformed player for New York this season.