The moment of note came when Barkley attempted to describe why former Knick J.R. Smith has surged to success in his new Cleveland Cavalier threads.
"I looked at J.R. Smith like this: I look at him as a follower," Barkley said last week during TNT's Cavs-Clippers broadcast. "And I told coach [David Blatt] that. He's a guy if you put him around good people, he's going to play well. If you put him around those idiots in New York, he's going to be an idiot. Every time he played well in New York, they had a good team. And when things go bad, they had him on a team with some boneheads. And he's a follower. He's not a bad kid, but he's a follower."
Recently, Knicks owner James Dolan called a 73-year-old fan a "hateful mess," a "negative force in everyone who comes in contact with you," and maybe an "alcoholic," in an email correspondence. Dolan later told the fan to start rooting for the Brooklyn Nets.
In 24 games with the Knicks this season, Smith averaged 10.9 points on 40 percent shooting in 25.8 minutes per game. In his 18 games in Cleveland, Smith is averaging 13.1 points on 41 percent shooting in 32 minutes per game.
Since Smith's Jan. 5 trade to Cleveland, the Cavaliers (32-21) are 13-5, while the Knicks (10-41) are 5-9.