The J.R. Smith situation in New York doesn't appear to be getting any better any time soon. The mercurial Sixth Man of the Year was benched once again during the Knicks' 108-98 loss in Charlotte, marking the second time in four games Smith did not play due to a coach's decision.
Mike Woodson declined to speak about the situation to the media, but Smith did talk to reporters, explaining he didn't know why the decision was made to relegate him to the bench once again.
J.R. on what's going on: Honestly I don’t know. Take it every day, day by day and figure out what I can do to help the team. ...— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) January 15, 2014
J.R. continued: If I’m not helping the team, there’s no point in me being here.— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) January 15, 2014
And Smith isn't the only one who's confused. The same feeling seems to be permeating through the locker room, where team veterans are reportedly sharing the same sentiment as their teammate. Confusion abounds around the Knicks' clubhouse.
Melo on J.R.: Whatever is going on with him and Woody or whatever it is, they have to deal with that.— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) January 15, 2014
The benching was even stranger considering he played in the team's previous two games after being kept on the bench during the Knicks' win over Miami last week. Whatever is happening between the player and the coach, the story should play out over the course of the next month. Smith is eligible to be traded beginning tomorrow, according to NBA rules, so the coming weeks should be interesting.
If it doesn't work out in New York, maybe the city in which they played tonight would be a little more inviting.