New York Knicks guard JR Smith has played much of his NBA career alongside Carmelo Anthony, and even with free agency looming, Smith sees no reason why his partnership with Melo would suddenly come to an end. Per Newsday:
“In my heart I believe he’ll still be here,” Smith said Wednesday night. “It’s just a matter of him coming up with that decision. Whatever it is we’re still going to be friends until our dying days, so whether he’s on my team or he isn’t I still love him like a brother.”
The Bulls, Rockets, Lakers and Clippers are among the teams that may pursue Anthony, but he could make $34 million more by staying with the Knicks.
Smith, who could be a free agent next summer, had an interesting season. He was suspended the first five games for failing a drug test, fined for threatening Brandon Jennings on Twitter and trying to untie opponents’ shoe laces during games. He also was benched twice for disciplinary reasons.
But Smith played well at the end. He’s looking forward to his exit meeting with new president Phil Jackson today. Smith thinks Jackson can get him to raise his game as he did for Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
“I’m excited to pick his brain a little bit, see what I need to work on, where I can get better at,” Smith said. “He’s had the greatest at my position, so it’ll be great to talk to him.
“The way he’s challenged people mentally, I think it’ll definitely work for me. For some reason people think I’m not a mentally tough or strong person, so it’ll be great — a good test for me.”