J.R. Smith ‘absolutely’ believes the Knicks discarded him like trash
When the Cleveland Cavaliers ousted the Chicago Bulls in the second round of the playoffs, J.R. Smith offered up a cryptic Instagram post in which he declared, “One Man’s Trash. Another Man’s Treasure.’’
The photos attached to his comments were of him and Iman Shumpert looking dejected while wearing New York Knicks jerseys and overjoyed while rocking Cavs gear. The insinuation that Smith felt the Knicks viewed him as trash was arguably obvious.
Now Smith has confirmed it.
Asked by the New York Post’s Marc Berman if that was indeed the meaning behind the social media missive, Smith did not hesitate to answer in the affirmative.
“Absolutely, to hear I was a throw-in to the trade just to get you off the books and for us to go over there and thrive, I think that’s absolutely how I feel.’’
As noted by Berman, the Knicks trimmed $6 million off the payroll by dealing Smith, and the Cavaliers are experiencing positive dividends. It’s also mentioned that reports that the Cavs had to take Smith to land Shumpert may have been exaggerated, according to sources.
Smith admitted not long after his relocation to Cleveland that the hustle and bustle of playing in New York proved to be a distraction and noted that playing in a town with a less frenetic nightlife helped him better focus on basketball. It’s difficult to argue with the notion that Smith is playing far better with the Cavaliers than he did with the Knicks. How much it has to do with having better players around him, how he may feel more appreciated or he simply is taking the game more seriously is unknown. But odds are all three components are part of the overall picture.
Either way, Smith has been a positive addition to the Cavaliers. He is averaging 13.5 points per game in the postseason, which includes an eight-three-pointer barrage in Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks in which he scored 28 points in the victory.
Smith obviously can be hit-and-miss with his social media musings — to put it mildly — but it certainly seems like he may have been on point with this trash-versus-treasure observation.