JR Smith Ready to Leave the Nuggets?

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

JR Smith has a tremendous sense of timing. It’s a terrible one, mind you, but it is tremendous nonetheless.

Down 0-2 in their first round Playoff series to the OKC Thunder, the Denver Nuggets have a new JR Smith controversy to deal with.

Frustrated with his role on the Denver Nuggets, unrestricted free agent-to-be Smith tells the media that he doesn’t plan on coming back next season (should there even be one.)

The Denver Post reports:

Smith didn’t talk to reporters after Wednesday’s Game 2 loss in Oklahoma City. But he opened up Thursday, after the team meeting, which he described as “just frustration, just really didn’t have any life in there. No one was really into it.” After Game 2, Karl said once Smith got in the game, the “floodgates opened.” Asked Thursday about the statement, Smith said: “I don’t read the quotes anymore. I don’t even want to get into that. If he asks me to play, I’ll play. If not, I won’t. It’s kind of getting ridiculous.”

Smith and Karl have a history of clashing, though the coach had been extremely complimentary of Smith’s play earlier this season. The fact is, Denver needs Smith to be focused and firing in the next two games, or else they might be Denver’s last two games.

As for this summer, though, Smith will be an unrestricted free agent. Asked if he will sign with a different team, the 25-year-old said: “There’s a strong possibility as of right now. It’s not going the way I planned it to go. It’s a tough situation. I want to be here, I love the fans and everything about the city. It’s just maybe not my fit.”

Head coach George Karl and the talented (but inconsistent) Smith have a long, and entertaining history of quite simply not getting along. A separation might be the best thing for both parties.

But that’s probably not what the focus in the Nuggets locker room should be at this time of year.

Game 3 of the Nuggets/Thunder series is set for Saturday night in Denver. I wonder how the fans will treat ol’ JR?