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Last week I had the pleasure of chatting with NBA swingman J.R. Smith.
Fresh off signing his new contract with the Knicks, Smith talked with me about rehabbing from his knee surgery, playing basketball as a kid with Giants WR Victor Cruz, his legendary tattoos, and a whole lot more.
Here are some highlights:
J.R. Smith on his rehab:
Everything’s good. I’m on track. I’m at the facility every day. Rehab is more mental than anything. Gotta keep staying positive and focused. My teammates have given me a lot of support.
On playing AAU basketball with Victor Cruz:
I always got the best of those battles, but in football his numbers were so much better than mine. He can definitely hoop it up, though. He had a lot of game. He had a mean crossover. He could get to the basket whenever he wanted to.
On being one of the NBA's sharpshooters:
My father taught me how to shoot when I was three years old. It’s been a journey ever since.
On evolving as a player and person:
I’m more mature. My game has evolved as a player and I’ve evolved as a person. I’m a totally different person than I was two years ago.
That was the first time I met Carmelo [Anthony]. That’s how our relationship started. At the end of that game, he told me to go pro. I had signed a letter of intent to go to North Carolina.
On his sneakers:
I love wearing Jordans. Any Jordans.
On his ink:
I have an artist that helps me, but it’s pretty much my vision, because it’s my story. It’s like a timeline of my life; what was going on.
On what he collects:
I’ve been trying to save my money as much as possible!
On re-signing with the Knicks:
I told my agent I didn’t want to talk to anyone else. First and foremost, I wanted to be a New York Knick. This is where I want to stay forever. I’m from New Jersey, my family’s here. I’m home.
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And don’t forget: You can LISTEN TO MY OTHER PODCASTS, including Victor Cruz, Eli Manning, Magic Johnson, Joe Torre, Don Mattingly, Bill Parcells & Lawrence Taylor, Lou Holtz, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Robert Wuhl, Dave Winfield & Brian Cashman, by clicking >> HERE. <<