New York's also the only place where Earl can watch Liberty games. Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
J.R. Smith was up to some cool stuff yesterday, holding his annual golf event in New Jersey. Jared Jeffries and a bunch of Knicks assistant coaches (and Charles Smith) showed up, and Earl's foundation announced the opening of a huge indoor facility for the First Tee program. Local media took the opportunity to track Smith down and ask him about his impending decision on the contract option for next year. With just a few weeks left until June 26-- JUDGMENT DAY-- Smith still sounds uncertain. From Al Iannazzone of Newsday:
"I'm getting kind of spoiled right now, going up and down the Turnpike," Smith said. "My mom's right there. She's cooking. She's coming up to New York and cleaning my place.
"After having that, I think it's going to be harder off the court than it will be on the court [to leave]. On the court basketball is basketball everywhere. But you got your family and friends and everybody, so it will be tough."
"I want to be here so I'm not really putting too much emphasis on it," he said. "I got money now. It's all about winning, and whatever is the best situation and the best fit really.
"If all things are equal, I'm staying."
1. Ida Smith is a SAINT.
2. All things aren't equal, unless 29 other teams are all uninterested in J.R. and are unwilling to outbid that $2.5 million option. Not impossible, I suppose.
3. Knowing Mike Woodson's sometimes eerie affinity for J.R., I can't imagine a better "fit" anywhere else.
4. Would the people of other cities ride bikes with you in the middle of the night, J.R.? Probably. But would they really?
5. Do other cities have Gray's Papaya? (Honest question: do they?)
6. Concrete jungle where jeans are mayoooooo. You know, J.R.
7. If the Knicks want to retain Smith, perhaps they should encourage Iman Shumpert to hold his birthday party a night early?
But yeah, if our friend Earl does go on to pick up his option, it sounds like it'll have a lot to do with location and proximity to the family Smith (aka The Wild Smiths. Earl is Donnie.). Then again, I know of another local organization that has a brand new arena, a ton of money to spend, and a budding fetish for signing minor players away from the Knicks. Shooting guard is the one position at which they're kind of set, but I could still totally see that happening.