TV personality Marcellus Wiley and Knicks player J.R. Smith arrives...

TV personality Marcellus Wiley and Knicks player J.R. Smith arrives at the 2012 ESPY Awards. (July 11, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

LAS VEGAS -- J.R. Smith doesn't know Jason Kidd that well personally, but he knows he wants to be on the court with the future Hall of Fame point guard.

Smith has been a sixth man for the bulk of his career and Kidd is expected to come off the bench as a backup to Jeremy Lin. But unless the Knicks make a move for a starting shooting guard, Smith would seem to be the likeliest candidate to play that role. Smith made his preference clear.

"Wherever J-Kidd is, that's where I want to be," Smith said Friday. "I love his game . . . I love his demeanor toward the game, how serious he takes the game. I've heard he's one of the best teammates. He's a class act, from my understanding."

Smith, who is here supporting his brother Chris, a member of the Knicks' summer league team, said his former Nuggets teammate, Kenyon Martin, raves about Kidd from their time together with the Nets.

It was Smith's first public remarks since re-signing with the Knicks for two years and about $5.6 million. He said he had offers for more money.

"I pretty much knew I was going to sign," Smith said. "I really don't want to go nowhere else. I'm comfortable in my situation. I got a great opportunity from the team last year to come here and help and contribute. I really don't think I did that last year. I still got a lot to prove. I'm excited."

Smith averaged 12.5 points in 27.6 minutes in the regular season but struggled in the playoff series against Miami, shooting 31.6 percent, including 17.9 percent from three-point range. Smith knows he can do better and believes Kidd will help him.

"It's open shots all day," Smith said. "Our job is just to make them. With J-Kidd, he's finding everybody. Not only is he going to help myself and [Steve] Novak, he's going to help our bigs as well."

Chris Smith is an undrafted guard out of Louisville. He's not as big or explosive as his brother, but he has a chance to get invited to Knicks training camp.

"Right now, I'm just out here fighting for a spot like all of the other guys on the team," Chris Smith said. "I'm not looking for anything to be given to me. I'm just going to play my cards right and hopefully, they're dealt the right way."

Smith played for Manhattan before transferring to Louisville. He gave up his scholarship so the team could give it to other players. J.R. paid for Chris to stay at Louisville, and he helped the Cardinals reach the Final Four this year.

Chris said J.R. is helping him again and that having him with the Knicks helps his chance of sticking around.

"I feel like it's in my favor," Chris Smith said. "But who knows. It's the NBA. I have a lot to show and this is my chance. I got five or six games to show if I'm going to take it."


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months