In Charley Rosen’s latest ESPN piece in a series about the Knicks‘ 2014/15 season, team president Phil Jackson spoke candidly about the team’s problems early in the year, and said J.R. Smith had been showing poor behavior before the trade that sent the guard to the Cavs. Jackson also said that Smith was expected to shoulder a lot of the scoring load and had not been doing his job. Jackson did not add any specifics about what Smith, who is still an unrestricted free agent, was — or was not — doing. One league agent told ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begley that Jackson’s revealing of player transgressions was a “classless move” (Twitter link).
“J.R. had been exhibiting some delinquent behavior and had gotten into the habit of coming late to team meetings, or missing them altogether,” Jackson told Rosen. “Also, [Iman Shumpert] and [Tim Hardaway Jr.] were regressing, so I decided to meet with them separately and try to find out what, if anything, was bothering them.”
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- The Nets have promoted Steve Jones, the team’s manager of video operations, to assistant coach for player development, the team announced. He replaces John Welch, as Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com points out (Twitter link). Welch left for an assistant coaching job with the Kings.
- Thomas Robinson, who is expected to be a reserve behind Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young for the Nets, is hopeful he can stay in Brooklyn and finally stop bouncing from team to team, Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com writes. Brooklyn will be Robinson’s fifth team in his first four seasons in the league. The Nets signed him to a two-year deal.
- Pierre Jackson‘s four-year deal with the Sixers will pay him about $3.7MM, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders, who adds that the first year is fully guaranteed and the fourth year has a team option.