J.R. Smith was part of the strangest and most shocking trade in the past year when he ended up leaving the New York Knicks for the Cleveland Cavaliers, alongside teammate Iman Shumpert.
Smith is undeniably the more high profile of the Cavaliers' two newest players, with a lot of media interest now dedicated to this new chapter in his entertaining career in Ohio. Keeping in character, Smith spoke out about the tense atmosphere at the Knicks.
Speaking to the press after his move from the Knicks, Smith has criticised the triangle offense that Knicks President of Basketball Phil Jackson has so far unsuccessfully tried to implement at Madison Square Garden, and slating the atmosphere at the Knicks.
“Everybody in the building was pretty much walking on eggshells, so it’s kind of hard to prosper that way, especially when you’re not accustomed to it," Smith said before failing to score a single point in 18 minutes in Cleveland's loss to Houston. "But I’m sure they’ll get it right.”
Smith would go on to say that the Knicks really don't have the personnel to run the Triangle and that it was "too much thinking" for the players when he was there.
The Knicks have struggled mightily in Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher's first year in charge, and it seems the team have gone into full on tank mode with the deals to offload Shumpert and Smith, in the quest for draft picks and cap space to make a splash in free agency.
Before being traded to the Cavs this week, Smith was averaging 10.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in 25.8 minutes. The scoring averages was his lowest in 10 seasons and his 40.2 percent from the field is his worse shooting percentage since his second season, as well.