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Knicks J.R. Smith: 'I would rather be a starter'

Knicks guard J.R. Smith has been a sixth man for most of his NBA career, and he thinks it is time to start.

Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson is still trying to decide on a starting shooting guard to open the season, and J.R. Smith thinks it's his time to get the call. Smith has been a sixth man for the majority of his professional career, and he seems to be tired of that role.

Smith spoke with reporters after practice on Friday, and made it clear he has no reservations on where he wants to be in the Knicks' rotation, according to ESPNNewYork.com:

"I would prefer to start. I would rather be a starter," he said. "My goal was to come in here and be a starter, and play with those other four guys on the floor. It is frustrating after a while that people see me as a sixth man, sixth man, sixth man, when you believe you're a starter. But at the same time, you have to understand this is a team game and you have to put individual goals aside."

Smith is battling it out with Ronnie Brewer for the starting slot. Smith averaged 12.5 points in 27.6 minutes a game off the bench last season. Brewer started 43 games for the Chicago Bulls last season, but played less minutes than Smith, averaging 24.6 per game. In those minutes he averaged 9.6 points.

The Knicks start their preseason schedule against the Wizards at 7 p.m. next Thursday in Washington, D.C.