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J.R. Smith: Phil Jackson asked me to open up, I thought I could trust him to keep it private

Phil Jackson, James Dolan, executive chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company

Phil Jackson, James Dolan, executive chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company


After trading J.R. Smith to the Cavaliers, Knicks president Phil Jackson discussed a sit down with Smith when the guard missed or was late to New York team meetings:

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.

Smith didn’t appreciate that becoming public.

Smith, via Ian Begley of ESPN:

“It was crazy to me because I try to leave my personal life on the side and when somebody sits there, sits behind a desk and tells you to open up on what’s going on with you, you’re thinking that’s going to be between the two of y’all,” Smith said in an interview with on Friday morning. “So, for me, it tells me something I already knew. But to come from someone like Phil, it’s just, it’s crazy. It makes you not want to tell anybody anything [that has] anything to do with your business. It was tough, but that’s how he handles stuff, that’s how he does it.”
“I’ve talked to a few people and they don’t understand why he did it, but I definitely won’t have that conversation with anybody else after that. So it just stuck with me. It’s all right,” Smith said.

Smith is right. Jackson was wrong.

It’s that simple.

Smith is willing to talk to the media about his life outside the court, but he does it on his terms and sets his lines. It’s not on Jackson to reveal something as personal as Smith “going through some issues with his gal.”

Jackson loves publicity. That’s why he did that series of interviews.

Anyone who interacts with him should be wary being used to boost Jackson’s profile.