J.R. Smith takes shot at Knicks fans while praising Cavaliers supporters
It’s not enough that J.R. Smith left behind all the dysfunction plaguing the New York Knicks organization and is bidding for an NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He had to take a potshot at the Knicks’ long-suffering fans.
Smith, who joined the Cavaliers after during a midseason trade last year that shipped himself and Iman Shumpert to Cleveland, took some time ahead of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Toronto Raptors to wax-not-so-nostalgic about the “desperation” that pervades the behavior of Knicks fans.
Specifically addressing how Cavaliers fans are nothing but encouraging despite Cleveland’s long-running championship drought, Smith differentiated that level of support to how Knicks fans conduct themselves.
“You would think it’s so much pressure on us for being a team who hasn’t won in ‘X’ amount of years, or franchise or city, but everybody, they’re happy with what’s going on,” Smith told reporters Tuesday, via NJ.com’s Randy Miller. “Of course, they want a championship, but it’s never like, ‘You guys have to get it done.’ It’s always, ‘We’ll root for you guys. Keep going. Keep going. Keep pushing.’
“I admire that because when I was in New York, there was a lot of desperation. You guys got to do it. You got to do it. You got to do it. You got to do it.’ For a city who hasn’t won in so long and hasn’t had successful teams, everybody’s very optimistic and everybody’s cool, down to earth.”
To say Smith contributed to the dysfunction and overall organizational malaise during his tenure with the Knicks would be an understatement. But he clearly has found a home with the Cavaliers and is relishing every moment, especially the amount of support he and his teammates receive from the fan base.
“More than anything, they love their team,” he said. “They understand that everything is a process. You got to respect that — people who understand and respect what your process is, what your goals are. They understand that it’s not going to be done overnight, but they understand that there’s a plan in place to be able to get it done.”