J.R. Smith's Mind Catching Up With His Body

J.R. Smith has really come into his own this season; he won't win Sixth Man of the Year, but is a serious candidate. Not a bad place to be at for a one-time bundle of raw talent that could once be had for negative pennies on the dollar. We've always known he could drain 11 threes in a single game, as he did last night against the Kings. ↵
↵
↵But 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: ↵
↵⇥“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 ↵⇥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. ↵⇥
↵⇥
↵⇥“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.” ↵
↵The 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.
↵
↵*Ed. note: Tom Ziller offers these counterpoints, via email: ↵

↵"He showed restraint and tastetfulness because: ↵

↵

↵a) Bobby Jackson threatened to blow up his car if he dared take another three. ↵

↵

↵b) 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." ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.