Chris Smith Rumors

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Chris Smith returning to UCLA

The Pac-12 Conference’s most improved player could become its most valuable. Chris Smith is returning to UCLA for his senior season, putting off the NBA for one more chance to continue his dramatic upward college trajectory. Sean Smith, Chris’ father, made the announcement Monday. “Chris is returning to school due to too much uncertainty on both sides of the coin,” said Sean Smith, alluding to the COVID-19 pandemic that led to the cancellation of workouts for NBA prospects and a delayed draft. “He’ll finish his degree and work to improve in the areas he needs to improve on.”
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Fifty-six basketball players from around the world showed up to the Brooklyn Nets’ practice facility in early December with the same goal: become a player in Basketball Africa League’s inaugural season that will begin in March 2020. Some players are entering fresh from their college hoops days, while others have had stints in the NBA, G League, and international leagues. For Chris Smith, a 32-year-old former NBA player and brother to veteran guard JR Smith, participating in BAL’s two-day scouting combine meant a shot at redemption. He wants another chance at the NBA.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith and his brother, Chris Smith, are the authors of a new children’s book called “HoopSmiths.” The book, which was released Tuesday, is about the brothers’ journey to play in the NBA. “J.R. and Chris both have dreams of playing in the NBA, but they quickly realize they can’t do it alone,” the book description reads. “Join these two brothers on their quest of commitment as they learn the value of teamwork and work toward achieving their ultimate goal!”
Smith laughs as he recalls the games, but gets serious when he talks about playing with James. “Being on his team, you’re just like, ‘Wow, he can do everything.’ And even there, he’s so competitive. He wants to win every game.” What about the other stars? “Carmelo’s mid-post, hesitation jump shot fading away toward the baseline is unstoppable,” he adds. “And KD just needs two steps to get to the rim from half court.”
We spoke with Oak’s longtime friend and spokesperson, Akhtar Farzaie, who tells us Charles feels Dolan is unfairly making him out to be violent alcoholic in the media. “Extremely outrageous and unprofessional of James Dolan to create a narrative of Charles Oakley in an attempt to make Charles seem like a monster.” “Very insulting and disrespectful to those that know him closely as a friend as well as his former teammates, more importantly to the loyal Knicks fans and the city of New York.”
The media in New York City was tough on Smith and the Knicks, and fans sent him harsh messages on social media, including, “You killed the Knicks season” and “I hope you die.” “I didn’t really get scared,” Smith said. “I would just say some stuff back like ‘I’m going to pray for you.’ Then I stopped responding because it was causing too much stress.” That stress came in the form of panic and anxiety attacks, fueled by not only fans and reporters, but the self-imposed pressure to live up to J.R. and his Knicks contract. On the court and at his apartment, there were moments when Smith couldn’t breathe, overthinking how people perceived him and feeling uneasy about his future. “I started having bad anxiety attacks,” Smith said. “I called my parents in the middle of the night, waking up drenched in sweat. They would tell me, ‘You’ve got to relax, you’ve got to relax.'”
Smith’s challenging personal and professional journey for now, though, has him in Las Vegas, where he’s training about six days a week. The next steps for him would be a summer league opportunity, which could come after the draft, and then a training camp invite this fall. “If Chris shows that he’s changed and he’s got it together, somebody will give him a chance,” said Andrew Moore, director of professional player development at Impact Basketball, where Smith does most of his working out. “No one wants to miss on a guy that they had written off this early in their career, so I think everybody is always open. But it’s going to be a war for him. Nothing will be handed to him, so he understands the odds are against him.”
While his brother J.R. prepares for a turn in the Finals for the first time in 11 seasons, Chris finds himself still trying to erase a reputation that saw him mocked around the NBA and become a scapegoat for much of the losing that has afflicted the Knicks in recent years. But now, J.R., who has endured his fair share of criticism for ill-advised shots, elbows, tweets and more, has found nirvana in Cleveland, excelling as the team’s sixth man on the biggest stage of his career. And younger brother Chris, who’s played in only two NBA games, finds himself hoping to get a call back to the NBA. “I texted [J.R.] a couple weeks ago and said, ‘This is our year,'” Smith said. “‘This is our chance to win. I’m going to win in my aspects and you’re going to win a championship.’ That’s exactly what I told him.”
Chris Smith said his brother, J.R. Smith, has “mixed emotions’’ leaving the Knicks but realizes he has a chance “to do something special.’’ With the Knicks in full tank mode, Smith, native of Freehold, NJ, is joining LeBron James in Cleveland, along with Iman Shumpert. “I’m happy for him,’’ Chris Smith told The Post. “It’s a bitter feeling when you have to leave New York. It’s home. He didn’t want to leave, really. At the same time, he has chance to win a championship and have a new beginning. It’s his time again,’’ the younger brother added.
Ex-Knick Chris Smith has entered the D-League draft with the hope of getting another opportunity to play in the NBA. “Whatever’s going to give me the best opportunity to perform on a level where I can get myself in a good position to get myself back into the NBA, that’s the route I want to take,” Smith said last week in an interview at his skills camp for young players. Smith, the younger brother of J.R. Smith, began last season on the Knicks’ roster. His inclusion on the 15-man roster stirred strong emotion from the team’s fan base because of his ties to his brother. Both the Knicks and Chris Smith have acknowledged that Smith’s older brother was a factor in the team’s decision to keep him. The Knicks eventually sent Smith to their D-League team. Smith was released by the D League affiliate — the Erie Bayhawks — in March.
This time it was Chris Smith — younger brother of repeat Twitter offender J.R. Smith and currently a reserve guard for the Erie Bayhawks of the D-League after a two-minute stint with the Knicks that cost the team roughly $2.1 million — committing the social-media faux pas. Late Monday night, Chris Smith reposted two tweets that called for him to replace Beno Udrih, who has asked the Knicks for a trade, according to ESPN.
J.R. Smith broke his silence on his brother Chris Smith getting cut Tuesday, saying he’s “over it.” Smith revealed he was called into a meeting the day before the official waiver where president Steve Mills broke the news to the two of them. The Knicks cut Smith to open a roster spot for big man Jeremy Tyler. “I wasn’t happy, but I couldn’t do nothing about it,” J.R. Smith said Thursday.