J.R. Smith: I Want To Start, There’s Nothing Left To Prove At Six-Man Spot

J.R. Smith wants to start for Knicks following five-game suspension   J.R. Smith is trying to position himself for a starting spot by taking part in the Knicks’ practice following his risky knee surgery back in July.

Smith, who is the league’s reigning Sixth Man Award winner, is worried that he may not have a starting position with the rise of teammate Iman Shumpert. Smith has made it known that once he recovers from his knee surgery and is done serving his five-game suspension for violating the NBA’s drug policy, he wants to be the team’s starting shooting guard.

“I’ve always wanted to start. Everybody knows that. Everybody knows how I feel about that,” Smith said after practice in Greenburgh. “I won the Sixth Man last year, so I felt as though there’s nothing left to prove at the sixth-man spot.

“But at the same time, if that’s what my team needs me to do, that’s what I’ll do. If Coach (Mike Woodson) wants me to be a sixth man, I’ll be a sixth man. If he wants me to start, I’ll start. That’s up to him.”

For now, Woodson said Iman Shumpert, who is also under consideration for the starting shooting guard position after playing mostly at small forward last season, will start in the backcourt in Thursday’s preseason game against the Wizards in Baltimore.

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