J.R. Smith’s Knee Surgery And Ensuing Twitter War With New York Journalist

J.R. Smith had surprise knee surgery yesterday to repair the patellar tendon and arthroscopy for a tear of the lateral meniscus in his left knee. He’ll be out 3-4 months, reports Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News did not like the timing of the procedure and said as much over Twitter.

Isola, a Knicks’ beat writer, criticized the Knicks last night and this morning because the surprise Smith surgery came so soon after he inked a new four-year, $24.7 million contract.




Isola’s Twitter feed continues like that for a while as he progressively bashes the Knicks for either knowing that Smith needed surgery on his knee, and still giving him the longest contract of his career, or being in the dark about the knee, and agreeing on the contract without knowing Smith’s true health status. Either way—as Isola sees it—the Knicks messed up.




Keep reading to see how J.R. Smith fired back…

While Isola’s ranting about Smith and the Knicks continued this morning as well, Smith hit back with a tweet last night while also posting a pic of his knee on Instagram.


Smith then re-tweeted this Isola slam.

We’re pretty sure Frank isn’t going to get much one-on-one time with Smith in the locker-room next season, which makes his job a bit harder. But acrimony between Isola and Dolan’s Knicks isn’t new.

Isola has famously feuded with the Knicks’ PR machine for ages, as he detailed to Deadspin in May this year. It makes sense the “The Most Hated Man at Madison Square Garden” would sound off on Smith’s surgery like this, but the timing and announcement is suspicious and Isola is right to questions. It’s his job, after all.

If Smith had gone under the knife when the season ended, but before he signed his new contract, he would have lost a lot of leverage at the negotiating table. The Knicks would be right to hold back on a long-term deal until they saw how he played after surgery. But having surgery right after the season also would have meant Smith would be ready for training camp next season. Smith’s recovery period is listed as 3-4 months, and that places his return between mid-October and mid-November, after the season has already started.

It’s hard to fault a player for doing what’s in his best financial interests, even if they don’t perfectly align with the team’s interests. What’s really confusing is whether the Knicks actually knew about the knee problems, like they claim. If they did, Isola’s questions make sense. If they didn’t, they’re as panicked as every Knicks fan when they heard the news.

We’ll see if Smith can actually play after 3-4 months of recovery time. If not, the Knicks will have a lot more to deal with than Isola’s tweets.

What do you think about Smith’s surgery? Should the Knicks have signed him to such a long deal even with the supposedly chronic knee problems? Did they even know about the knee like they have since claimed?

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