â†µBut as the Denver Post reveals, Smith hasn't just learned to get along with Coach Karl (enough), play defense, or accept his role. He's even been able to put his NBA career in perspective, and realize how fortunate he is. That's right, the kid has gotten downright reflective: â†µ
â†µâ‡¥“I’m playing with a lot of great players, so I can’t really do it like I want to. And that’s a good thing. A lot of people are on terrible teams like Memphis or somebody like that. If you have a guy like (Memphis’) Rudy Gay or O.J. Mayo on a title contender, I think they’d be â†µâ‡¥doing pretty much the same thing I’m doing. It’s just that they don’t have the great core of a team that we have. â†µâ‡¥â†µThe Post mentions that the Nuggets hope to grow Smith into an All-Star sometime soon. Before you nay-sayers laugh, know this: J.R. could've thrown up another trey at the buzzer, thus gaining a shot at tying the all-time record. But instead, he showed restraint and tastefulness, and dribbled the clock out*. The only man to get to 12? Kobe Bean Bryant. Seriously, from now on you ignore -- or underestimate -- Smith's talent and mental poise at your own peril.
â†µâ‡¥“It’s a great thing to have. Kobe’s been waiting for the team he’s got for years now, since Shaq left. So, I’m not complaining about it.” â†µ
â†µ*Ed. note: Tom Ziller offers these counterpoints, via email: â†µ
â†µ"He showed restraint and tastetfulness because: â†µ
â†µa) Bobby Jackson threatened to blow up his car if he dared take another three. â†µâ†µ
â†µb) He figured he had extinguished his good karma by taking something like 4 threes in the closing minutes of a blow-out when he already had 30something points." â†µâ†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.