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J.R. Smith denies he was racist toward former Knicks teammate Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks celebrates

Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks celebrates a basket in the second half against the Dallas Mavericks with teammate J.R.Smith on Feb. 19, 2012. Credit: Jim McIsaac

J.R. Smith vehemently denied the implication that he was racist toward Jeremy Lin during their tenure on the Knicks, responding to a question posed to Lin on WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton Show” on Wednesday morning.

“I never want to entertain this topic but whoever said I am or was racist to @JLin7 because he was Asian is wrong on so many levels!” tweeted the current Cleveland Cavalier. “I went to the #ESPYS to support him when all of Lin-sanity was going on stood up for him when other players knocked him down.”

In a third tweet, he wrote: “Don’t ever in your life try (and) play me as racist. For someone who grew up where I did I know a little thing about it and it’s never ok!”

Smith was no doubt moved to respond after Craig Carton asked Lin if Smith was involved in any racial discrimination in the Knicks’ locker room.

Lin did not give a definitive response, but he also didn’t implicate Smith.

“I’ve never spoken to J.R. about it,” said Lin, according to a transcript published on “I’ve never spoken to whoever else you might think about it, so it’s hard for me because I don’t want to speculate. The one thing I will say is that race has been a huge part of journey ever since I was a child trying to play basketball.”

Lin went on to say that his race was a “double-edged sword” that has both led to discrimination and a feeling of otherness, but also boosted his popularity and, he said, led to Linsanity.

New York Sports