Wednesday, January 7, 2015

J.R. Smith posts farewell message to Knicks (PHOTO)

J.R. Smith was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night, after four mostly tumultuous seasons with the franchise he calls his hometown team — the New York Knicks.

Smith, who was a standout high school player in New Jersey, loved playing for the team he fondly remembers growing up in Central Jersey — making this trade just a bit harder for him.

On Tuesday, Smith said farewell to the Knicks and his New York fans with an Instagram post:

"I want to thank Mr. Dolan and the Knicks organization for giving me the opportunity to play for such a storied franchise over the past few seasons. I want to thank my teammates for their support and guidance. Most importantly, I want thank the fans of New York who are some of the most passionate basketball fans in the world. Playing in my hometown has been incredibly special and I will be forever grateful for having had the chance to wear a Knicks uniform.

"Though I look forward to starting a new chapter in Cleveland to join some of the best talent in the game in the quest for an NBA Championship, this great experience in New York will always stay with me. 

"Thank you again, fans. Your support means the world."

Going from a floundering franchise to a playoff contender might help ease the pain.

Smith's first trip back to Madison Square Garden with Cavaliers will be on Feb. 22.

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