J.R. Smith makes a perfectly normal basketball movement (Elsa/ Getty).
In the modern NBA, only a certain kind of player typically makes the All-Star team. In all but a few cases, he is a dependable star on a team in line to make the playoffs, and almost always the sort of player the league wants to promote to a larger audience. All of which is to say that New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith, one of the streakiest players in recent NBA history and someone with a history of defying authority figures, has never seemed particularly likely to be introduced as an NBA All-Star.
This season, however, Smith has been a massively important player for a team only a half-game back of the best record in the East. He's averaging 16.7 points per game, setting a career high in rebounds, and hitting big shots (Exhibits A and B). While his stats don't immediately jump out as worthy of selection, NBA coaches have been known to fudge the numbers a bit for players on winning teams.Read More »from J.R. Smith thinks he belongs in the All-Star Game