Congrats go out to J.R. Smith, as sources reveal the Knicks guard has won the NBA’s coveted Sixth Man award!
On Monday afternoon, the NBA announced Smith as the 2013 Sixth Man of the Year at MSG Training Center. Smith is the third Knick to earn the honor, joining Anthony Mason and John Starks in the Knicks fraternity of impactful players off the pine.
Smith returned to New York prior to the start of the 2012-13 season with a renewed focus on shedding his basketball persona as the sixth man. The respected veterans inside the Knicks locker room convinced him otherwise.
“At first I wasn’t embracing the role when coach Woodson first told me,” Smith admitted. “It was tough for me to get over not starting because that was going to be my goal pretty much the whole summer, working out and all that. My teammates from Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace, Kurt Thomas, Marcus Camby, they really put in my head this is a better situation for us as a team. Once I got that through, I was fine.”
J.R. has averaged 18.1 points in 80 games, all off the bench. He had 29 games in which he scored 20 points as a reserve, tying him with the Clippers’ Jamal Crawford for the NBA lead.