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As the trade deadline loomed closer during the last NBA season, New York Knicks President Phil Jackson made the decision to ship J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Many Knicks fans were confused because the duo had been such an integral part of the team for the past few years, not to mention that Jackson didn’t get much value in return for the trade. As the Knicks slumped further into obscurity, Smith and Shumpert went on to be instrumental in helping lead the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals, making Jackson’s decision all the more absurd.

Phil Jackson’s reason for the trade was made clear during “The Phil Files” on, which was written by Jackson’s longtime friend Charley Rosen. In the piece, he stated that he noticed some regression in both players.


J.R. had been exhibiting some delinquent behavior and had gotten into the habit of coming late to team meetings, or missing them altogether. Also, Shump and Tim [Hardaway Jr.] were regressing, so I decided to meet with them separately and try to find out what, if anything, was bothering them.

When speaking on Smith, he went into detail about their conversation, even revealing that the shooting guard might have been a tad bit too sensitive for his taste.

He was supposed to carry the scoring load for the second unit, and he wasn’t doing his job. I also said that because of his unacceptable behavior, he had two strikes against him with this team. He didn’t really respond. He’s a very sensitive guy, with his big doe eyes. He looked like he was going to tear up. But he finally responded that he was going through some issues with his gal.

Let’s just hope J.R. can get his lady troubles out of the way for the coming season with the Cavs.Rocko Rathon (@Rocko_CNK)