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DenButsu
10-01-2008, 09:34 PM
Sam Adams' Open Mic: Nuggets' Smith learning responsibility at 23

Nuggets guard J.R. Smith told me two words caught his attention during the summer.

Not “shoot less” or “play defense” or “new contract.”

Try these two: grow up. Those are harsh words of reality for a 23-year-old millionaire athlete to digest when spoken from the mouths of Mom and Dad.

“I sat down with my parents this summer and they told me it’s time for me to grow up. It’s time to be mature as a man,” Smith said.

“At a certain point in time, it hurts because you feel as though you’ve been playing around a lot and people tend not to take you serious — especially when it’s your parents telling you.

“You have to realize that it’s that time. You don’t have to apply to just joking around or goofing around. Just apply it to everyday life — things you can do to save money, save time ... just taking time out of your day to make someone else happy.”

On the court, Smith knows he needs to mature, too. He led the Nuggets in three-point shooting, but Smith’s defense has been suspect. Nuggets coach George Karl will emphasize defensive intensity during training camp. Smith hopes to show his has improved.

A battle for playing time at shooting guard could develop between Smith and Linas Kleiza. Karl likened the pair to Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony “in a funny way.” I wasn’t sure if that was a compliment to their offensive abilities or a jab at their defensive liabilities.

Nevertheless, the better defender between Kleiza and Smith likely will wind up with more minutes on the court.

“I play ball all the time in the summer, and that was my main focus — trying to guard the best guy on the court and put myself in a position that would apply to the season,” Smith said.

The first four years of Smith’s career, he said, have gone by too fast.

“I look at Sonny (Weems). This is his first year out,” Smith said. “We’re the same age. I’m still a young guy in a lot of aspects, but in the NBA world I’m a veteran.”rockymountainnews (http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/oct/01/sam-adams-open-mic-nuggets-smith-learning-responsi/)


I really like that last point. It puts things in a certain perspective to realize that Weems and J.R. are the same age.

I think Smitty's going to have an incredible bust-out season. I really do.

C-Dub
10-01-2008, 09:41 PM
i bet weems learns a ton from him too considering they are so similar, in my mind at least

AIMelo=KillaDUO
10-02-2008, 02:31 AM
I really think JR has matured... reading recent interviews, and just his responses to some questions and the way he's handled himself this off-season makes it seem like he's finally "grown up" and ready to be a leader and do what needs to be done in order to win ball games.

TheFuture6
10-02-2008, 02:52 AM
He's gonna be a beast, that's all there is to it.

jeff86
10-02-2008, 02:53 AM
well this is a good thing to hear