I usually refrain from Twitter debates for a myriad of reasons. That they are the equivalent of this generation of arguing with a drunk stranger at a bar and the fact most people’s beliefs are rooted in anything but rational facts being two of them. However, I found myself sucked in a short time ago regarding the New York Knicks disappointment of the future…Dennis Smith Jr.
The first delusional Knicks fan I encountered about Smith was my up to that point fairly logical cousin. As a man who once fronted rock legends The Ecological Peacemakers, I knew he could occasionally have poor judgment but he made a statement that blew my mind. He compared Smith favorably to Russell Westbrook and there were no hallucinogenics involved. He also predicted all-star games for him and wasn’t referring to games played in China.
I thought he was an outlier but alas I was wrong….more fans continued singing the praises of a player who regressed or stagnated in almost every measurable statistic last year. For a player who wasn’t much better than Emanuel Mudiay, Knocks fans sure are quick to throw their full faith into DSJ.
Smith couldn’t find a way to coexist with the NBA’s best rookie last year, a player whose game was unselfish and whose skills would have complemented Smith’s. Instead, he poured about Dallas becoming Luca Doncics team, had to be benched and then traded to the Knicks in the Porzingis fleecing.
Now Knicks fans think he is going to be ok being upstaged by R.J Barrett, Kevin Knox, and Mitch Robinson? Three players in whose development the Knicks should be way more invested? I’m sure this is going to go swimmingly. Also, any line-up with Knox, Barrett, and Smith on the floor at the same time is going to give up roughly 250 points per 48 minutes. Unless the NBA legalizes goaltending and Robinson can sit on top of the rim the Knicks defense will be phenomenally poor.
So Knicks fans, is it the probability of locker room dysfunction or stunting the growth of the team’s other youngsters your most excited about? Or is it Smith’s matador like defense? The comparisons to Westbrook and Rose? The only MVP he will ever come close to is in a charity game.
I’m all for rooting for your team and standing by your man. I for one am one of the last Frank Ntikilina apologists left, but I also never compared him to Kawhi Leonard. Dennis Smith is a fine 7th or 8th man to come off the bench and see if he gets hot. He is not a future all-star or even a starting-caliber point guard on a good team. Sorry Knicks fans….but it’s better you hear it from a friend right?