J.R. Smith won the Sixth Man of the Year award coming off the bench for the Knicks last season, got a new deal and now wants to be treated like he’s important.
Smith who is still rehabbing from late off-season knee surgery, told ESPN New York that he “would prefer to be a starter.”
“I’ve always wanted to start. Everybody knows that,” Smith said. “I won the Sixth Man [Award] last year, so I felt as though there’s nothing left to prove at the sixth-man spot. But at the same time, if that’s what my team needs me to do, that’s what I’ll do. If Coach wants me to be a sixth man, I’ll be a sixth man. If he wants me to start, I’ll start. That’s up to him.”
Smith of course will compete with Iman Shumpert for the shooting guard spot. He hopes to play in the final preseason contest on Oct. 25