New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. has had a tough season. The third-year pro out of North Carolina State had his world rocked earlier this season with a death in the family. Smith left the team with the organization’s blessing to miss the three next games to mourn the death of his stepmother with the rest of his family.
He also wasn’t playing well up to that point for the Knicks, and when the news it of his stepmother passing things didn’t get any easier for Smith. However, with the Knicks holding him out against his former team the Dallas Mavericks and the following game against the Cleveland Cavaliers back in November. Smith was able to evaluate things during his time away from the team.
“It’s eye-opening,” Smith said back in November, according to the New York Post’s Greg Joyce. “Just been very eye-opening.”
“Just being able to spend that time with family. I appreciate the staff and [coach David Fizdale] and my teammates; they supported me. They allowed me to spend that time and really take a step back and evaluate everything that’s going on. So I appreciate that.”
The Dallas Mavericks last season trade Dennis Smith Jr along with Wes Matthews, DeAndre Jordan, and likely first-round draft pick compensation in exchange for Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Trey Burke, and Kristaps Porzingis, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
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Donovan Mitchell Weighs-in on the Media Coverage of Carmelo Anthony & Dennis Smith Jr.
Carmelo Anthony, Dennis Smith Jr, and Donovan Mitchell all spent a lot of time last summer at Chris Brickley’s Black Ops Basketball Runs at Lifetime Fitness in New York City. Brickley trains a lot of NBA players, including Carmelo Anthony, James Harden, C.J McCollum, to name a few. Carmelo Anthony sat out a year after the Chicago Bulls traded for the former Rocket and bought out Anthony’s contract. Still, he wasn’t able to find a team until the Portland Trailblazers signed him after injuries to Zach Collins and Rodney Hood.
>As for Smith, his time in New York hasn’t been promising. Whether it is because of injuries or when he’s not injured, Smith hasn’t found a rhythm on the court in the limited minutes he is receiving, averaging just 5.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.9 assists for the Knicks in 29 games. The New York Media coverage also hasn’t been on Smith’s side either calling for the Knicks to bench him for his own good, or even stating that they should cut their losses.
Earlier this week, I spoke with Donovan Mitchell and asked him if he sees any similarities between the way the mainstream media coverage of both Carmelo Anthony and Dennis Smith Jr after the Jazz< beat the Dallas Mavericks 123-119.
“I don’t think so at the end of the day, I’ve known Dennis since high school, and I know the player that he is, and sometimes it’s about the opportunity. I think he had a relative pass away. So, he is going through a tough time, but I think the biggest for him to continue playing at his best, said Mitchell. “And I wouldn’t compare that to Carmelo at all, but for Dennis like a said I’ve known for him a while, and he is one hell of a player, a hell of a person, and he will figure it out for sure.”