Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Talking Trash or Just Being Honest?

(Boulder-CO) I pose such a question in this post’s title because Byron Scott has some things to say about former Hornet J.R. Smith in today’s Denver Post. Instead of playing it cool, Scott has some not-so-nice things to say about Smith who has considerably picked up his game in only the third year of his young career since leaving the Hornets.

Before I give you the dirty, here is what Smith had to say about meeting up with his old coach and team in said article by Chris Dempsey, “I'm just worried about a win, and that's all.” Basically pretty standard talk for a professional athlete not wanting to throw stones at a former organization and a fairly mature statement by J.R. if I don’t say so myself.

However… Coach Byron Scott had this to say about J.R. and his time spent with the Hornets, “I thought his work ethic was the biggest problem we had. Just the fact that I told him all the things that I felt he needed to do and then he commenced on telling you guys (media) that I never told him. I was talking to him right there with Willis Reed and (general manager) Jeff Bower, telling him what he has to work on. He would do it for one day and then he wouldn't do it again. I'm trying to help a young man develop and he didn't want to. He wanted to play his way, which was just shoot 3s and see how many dunks he could get. From a coaching standpoint, I can't wait until a guy gets to a point two or three years later where he wants to play.”

So now that the fire has been lit underneath J.R.’s behind, he should have extra incentive to stick it to his former coach and team in tonight’s game. I hope that every time he drips a three he turns a looks at Coach Scott and holds up the hands. And let’s be honest for a second, who really looks like morons in this situation? The Hornets who gave up one of the most talented and athletic young players in the league for Howard Eisley (who was traded and waived immediately by the Bulls) and two second round picks or the Nuggets who now have one of the top three-point shooters in the league when total three pointers made and average bombs made per game are the measuring sticks (He is top-ten in the NBA in both despite missing ten games!)?

Sure Smith came into camp a little bit deficient on the defensive end, but his upside is tremendous and he has shown that he wants to play better defense. It is also so easy to forget that J.R. is just barely old enough to buy himself a beer and that he will be in this league for the next ten years or maybe even longer. With that being said, one can presume that while playing high school-level competition J.R. wasn’t exactly game ready on the defensive end for NBA quality offensive opposition. So all in all, I say hit ‘em for 25, J.R., and make Scott eat his words!


JM said...

"The Hornets who gave up one of the most talented and athletic young players in the league for Howard Eisley (who was traded and waived immediately by the Bulls)"

Actually, JR was a Chicago Bull when the Nuggets acquired him for Howard Eisley and 2 second round draft picks. JR came over to Chicago when the Hornets acquired Tyson Chandler from the Bulls a week or two before.

As for the rest of your article, I am sure JR may have been guilty of some the things that Byron Scott accused him of when he was a Hornet (he was only 19-20 years old), but he has to keep his mouth shut. I think for Scott, he is justifying the move a little because JR has been such a key acquisition for Denver. Seeing Smith play well for Denver puts a dent on Scott's reputation as a good coach. Maybe there WAS something wrong with how Scott handled Smith? It's all about self preservation at this point for him.

I am proud of JR and he has been the type of player the Nuggets needed in the wake of Ruben Patterson and Voshon Lenard.

The Last Rockies Fan said...

Byron Scott is an awefull coach who has been lucky to have some great point gaurds (Kidd/Paul). The Hornets need to realize that if they ever want to be good.

Jason said...

Nugg Doctor, great piece. I also read the Denver Post article this morning and thought that it was very interesting about JR and Byron Scott.

So here you have the accused immature player in JR Smith, taking the high road against the coach who cannot seem to let it go! Hmmmm, that is why their is always two sides to every story. It seems to me that Scott is trying to justify the reasons why it did not work out for JR as a Hornet.

But yet, Karl seems to be making it work, which I believe goes to show you the level of coaching prowess. Yes, JR remains a work in progress, but as with all young players, you have to give it time and patience. It seems Scott grew a little too impatient for his own good! And now Denver has one of the most promising young players in the game!

JR should definitely have some extra motivation tonight. And I am very glad he took the high road, making Scott look like the immature one!

Go Nuggets!!!

Seth said...

if only there were some scenario in which j.r. could actually dunk on byron scott. considering the depth of the hornets' injuries, scott might actually have to suit up, so you never know.

Nugg Doctor said...

Sorry for just getting these up, fellas.

When I am not breaking down the Nuggets. I am breaking ankels and making string music at the rec center!

All of you have some great comments and JM is exactly right on how that trade went down. I guess I just never considered J.R. to have ever been a Bull since he never suited a single game in red.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Tymes Rhymes said...

Can you hoop it up Nugg Dr.? I take that as a challenge.

I got another one of them celeb look-alikes for you.

Baron Davis and Kanye West.

And that is low taking shots at J.R. I too have seen J.R. improve all over, I expect J.R. too light it up.

Nugg Doctor said...


Let's just put it this way... I played a few years of 4A high school hoop in Boulder county back in the day, and although I haven't been back to the old school gym. I wouldn't be surprised if my name is still in the mix of the basketball record books.

I play at the East Boulder Rec center on MWF if you want to check the pedigree...

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor