The Knicks could use someone with this kind of passion.
Even from the sideline, JR Smith couldn’t contain himself from standing up for teammate Channing Frye after Miami’s rookie Rodney McGruder showed him up.
In the final seconds of the Heat’s blowout win over Cleveland (both LeBron James and Kyrie Irving did not play), McGruder dunked over Frye and on the way down gave him a hard slap on the back.
The outspoken Smith, dressed in street clothes due to an injury that has kept him out for months, jumped up from the bench and quickly started jawing at McGruder.
A staredown between the two ensued, but as the buzzer sounded things escalated as Miami’s Dion Waiters decided to stick up for his teammate.
He began walking towards the Cavs bench, screaming at Smith, who had to be held back by coach Tyron Lue as well as team security.
“We got J.R. off the floor,” Lue said after the situation calmed down. “He’s fiery, he’s feisty. He’s ready to get back on the floor. It happens throughout the course of a game. It’s nothing though.”
James, who was already in the locker room when the fireworks started, told ESPN, “That just means J.R. is ready to come back.”
As expected, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra came to the defense of his player.
“If anybody knows Rodney, he’s just out there competing,” he said. “He’s going to compete every possession. He’s not trying to show up anybody.”
The drama may not be over between the teams — they face off in Cleveland on Monday.