J.R. Smith believes that being away from the nightlife of New York will help improve his game and focus, TNT’s David Aldridge, writing in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com reports. The Cavs guard said, “I think this is the best situation for me, ’cause there’s nothing but basketball. There’s nothing you expect but basketball. There’s nothing, there’s no going out, there’s no late nights. There’s video games, basketball and basketball. So it’s a great thing, ’cause I go back to where I came from. When I grew up, I never, I wasn’t allowed to go out.”
Here’s more from around the league:
- Smith also intimated that he wished things would have worked out with the Knicks, and wanted to become successful in the triangle offense, Aldridge adds. “I wanted to be one of the players that understood it, that got it,” Smith said. “The two greatest players in the world at my position played in it [Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant], and thrived in it, got all the accolades and championships and whatever else came with it. I wanted to be a part of that significant group. Not that I think I’m like those two guys in any way, but to be a part of the building process that that’s the base of, and go from there.”
- Pelicans and Saints owner Tom Benson is asking a judge to dismiss the lawsuit that his heirs have filed regarding the control of the two franchises, Brett Martel of The Associated Press writes. Benson’s legal stance is that he made a “deliberate, reasoned and difficult decision” to change his succession plan so that Gayle Benson, his wife of 10 years, inherits control of the team, Martel notes.
- The Pacers have assigned Shayne Whittington to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star reports (Twitter link). This will be Whittington’s initial D-League assignment of the season.
- Hornets GM Rich Cho isn’t willing to sacrifice any long-term assets in his search for a backup point guard, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes. “I think one of the worst things you can do is lose [draft] picks and flexibility and then get caught in a corner,” Cho said. “That’s one of the challenges of this job: You’ve got to balance winning now with winning in the future.”