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J.R. Smith Looking to Be a Leader for New York Knicks This Season; Help Younger Guys

August 22nd, 2014 at 5:44 PM
By Doug Rush

One of the mainstays of the New York Knicks is vowing to become a more mature basketball player this upcoming season, which if is the case, would be a good sign for the team.

J.R. Smith, whose been known in the past for being a bit of a shot-happy ball-hog who takes low-percentage shots and drove Knicks fans crazy over the last two seasons, is taking a bit of a different approach to next season.

"Be a leader,” Smith said in an interview with ESPNNewYork.com on Thursday at his foundation’s annual golf fundraiser. “We’ve got so many younger guys around. A lot of the older guys left within the last two years. So be more of a leader and help out. Just ‘show instead of say’ and stuff like that,” Smith, speaking at his fundraiser for the J.R. Smith Youth Foundation at Eagle Ridge Golf Club, said when asked about his leadership approach. “‘Sheed [Rasheed Wallace], J Kidd [Jason Kidd] — those guys led by example and that’s what I’m going to try to do.”
With the triangle offense that Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher are implementing in New York, Smith's style of play would actually hurt the rhythm of it, which is read and react with lots of ball movement and Smith putting up shots all over the court goes against the style of it, but maybe Smith is finally coming around as a veteran who knows that if he doesn't go along, he could find himself playing elsewhere and maybe somewhere that he wouldn't care for.
When Smith is on his game though and playing well, he's a legitimate scoring threat who can absolutely help Carmelo Anthony on offense, but it's when he over-shoots the ball is when he grows on the fans nerves and maybe with the new regime of Jackson and Fisher in town, Smith turns over a new leaf, and one for the better.

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