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J.R. Smith unhappy but resigned to brother's departure

J.R. Smith looks on after a play against

J.R. Smith looks on after a play against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden. (Dec. 27, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

SAN ANTONIO - J.R. Smith admitted he was unhappy that the Knicks waived his brother Chris, but he seemed to be holding back how he really felt.

Smith said he was pulled into a meeting with general manager Steve Mills earlier in the week and was told that Chris would be cut. When reporters asked about his immediate reaction, he paused for several seconds before answering. "I wasn't happy but I couldn't really do nothing about it,'' he said before Thursday night's game against the Spurs.

The Knicks cut Chris Smith on Tuesday to make room to sign big man Jeremy Tyler. As the transaction was being worked out Monday, Smith posted an Instagram picture with the words: "You know the sad thing about betrayal? It never comes from an enemy.''

Smith avoided answering a question about that. "I'm not worried about Instagram,'' he said. "We got to play the Spurs and that's my main focus.''

Smith gave short responses throughout the brief interview. "I'm over it,'' he said. "I'm just worried about playing against the San Antonio Spurs.''

He also said he doesn't have any issues with anyone in the organization. "I'm fine with everybody,'' he said. "I don't have no problems with nobody.''

Smith usually is one of the most forthcoming Knicks, although he exited through a side door Tuesday when reporters waited to speak to him after practice.

Smith defended his brother when people said Chris was with the Knicks only because of his brother. In November, after Pistons guard Brandon Jennings tweeted something about Chris, J.R. came to his defense on Twitter. The league fined J.R. $25,000 "for directing hostile and inappropriate language to another player.''

The Knicks signed J.R. Smith to a three-year, $17.9-million deal in July. His brother received a fully guaranteed one-year deal for $491,000. He played two minutes before being cut.


Felton still out

Raymond Felton (groin injury) missed his fourth straight game but is on the trip. Mike Woodson doesn't expect him to play, though. He said there is a chance Felton can practice when the Knicks return home.

Pablo Prigioni (fractured big toe) and Metta World Peace (left knee soreness) didn't make the trip. World Peace is scheduled to have platelet-rich plasma therapy Monday and said he will miss about two more weeks after that.


Lin, Rockets up next

The Knicks will face Jeremy Lin Friday night for the fourth time since deciding not to match Houston's offer in the summer of 2012. The Rockets won the previous three meetings by an average of 14.7 points, including a 28-point beating in Houston last season. Lin is averaging 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists in those games.

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