“Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet,” according to a Vietnamese proverb.
And while New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith and his younger brother Chris Smith do live up to the ancient saying, they’ll be getting even more acquainted, now that the Knicks have officially inked both the younger Smith and Toure’ Murry on the roster last Wednesday.
Chris, who always wanted to join his brother’s team, was waived from the Knicks during the 2012 preseason and was not able to play in any of the games, since he had to undergo surgery to repair his left patella tendon.
Despite not making the cut the first time around, that didn’t stop the younger Smith from using the time productively, by watching the team play, while strengthening his own skills.
During an interview with Newsday last year, he mentioned a few Knicks players he had studied over time.
“I watched Jason Kidd, I watched Pablo Prigioni and I watched Raymond Felton,” Chris said, “and I was like, now I have the mind-set of what it’s like to be a point guard and run the team.”
A recovered Chris was then invited to the 2013 New York Knicks Summer League in Las Vegas, where the point guard averaged 5.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists over 19.9 minutes in five games.
The young talented guard seems to be on his way to help run the team, alongside his big brother, and the other core players of the Knicks.
The former Louisville guard, spent his first two years in Manhattan College, then transferred to Louisville, where he averaged 9.4 points per game, 2.5 assists, shot 45.8% from the field, and 40.4% from the three point range. In addition, he became an important asset to his new team when he helped them reach the 2012 Final Four.
But The Reigning Sixth Man, may have to root for his younger brother and the rest of the team, from the sidelines this upcoming season, as he recovers from offseason knee surgery. In addition to that, he also faces suspension of five games without pay for violating the terms of the NBA’s anti-drug program.
Suspension begins on the first game when he has fully recovered from knee surgery.
The older Smith’s support for his younger brother’s dream to go pro basketball, couldn’t have been more evident than during training camp.
“I can’t wait to see him get out there and show what he can do. He’s been working so hard to get an opportunity and a chance. I think he’ll do a great job,” J.R. Smith said. “The key to success is to work hard and work smart … I think he’s been doing that.”
And just to show his own admiration for his older brother, Chris took to Instagram last week to share his latest body art, showing off a picture of his brother’s face inked on his upper right arm, with the phrase “always got my back” written right below the portrait.
Other newly signed team member, Toure’ Murry, made a splash during this year’s league games and made a great impression on Knick’s coach Mike Woodson.
Murry, who chose the Knicks over the Heat’s training camp invite, managed to averaged 7.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals over 20.8 minutes in five games this summer in Las Vegas.
Both contracts for newly signed players Smith and Murry are non-guaranteed. So far only 12 players on the team have guaranteed contracts.