Not only did he make a rather bold declaration, but it's likely he'll miss some considerable time following recent knee surgery.
He's not the only Knick troubled by a bothersome injury, either—star forward Carmelo Anthony has also fallen victim to a troubling ailment, but it's his shoulder rather than a patella tendon.
So what's their current status, and can both players be expected to make it through camp and beyond without any trouble?
The season hasn't even started and Smith is already making headlines.
Between New York Post reports of him driving an armored car, his (delusional) confidence in his team's championship prospects and his knee, he's giving the beat writers in New York plenty to write about.
Regardless, J.R. isn't made to give the media material; he's paid to score points and lots of them, but he can't do that if his knee isn't working properly.
Per reports courtesy of USAToday.com, Smith had surgery on his damaged patella tendon in mid-July. We're already in September, and as of yet, word is mum on his current status.
After investing nearly a quarter of a $100 million in Smith for the next four years, it remains to be seen if he'll still be effective as a scorer post-surgery, but at this point, New York's front office can only hope all goes well from here on out.
Thankfully, no complications or mishaps were reported, so we can safely assume that the surgery went smoothly.
Accounting for the time it takes to go through rehab and physical therapy, getting back in game shape and the like, expect J.R.'s three- to four-month timetable to remain the same.
Four months of no J.R. is by no means a death sentence, but it's certainly a frustrating way to tip off the new season.
The Knickerbockers need a healthy Smith if they truly want to contend in the Eastern Conference. New York needs collective scoring across the board, and J.R. will hopefully bring that to the table. No matter how silly the thought of a New York Knicks title run sounds, you know, considering the Miami Heat still exist, anything can happen.
If Smith intends to play the role of sharpshooter and soothsayer this season, his knees and body as whole will have to comply, and so far, it appears as if they will.
Back in April , during the brutal battle that was the New York Knicks vs. the Indiana Pacers, Carmelo Anthony's shoulder popped out of its socket.
Fast forward five months, and now Anthony can report that it's feeling a lot better, per SI.com.
While many feared his labrum injury would require surgery, this is most certainly not the case. Annoying nicks and bruises happen all the time, and Melo man's recent shoulder issue is no different.
Considering he did not require surgery and that he's at ease about it when talking to the media, it's clear he'll be ready to go for training camp and the beginning of the regular season.
No need for a timetable; Anthony is a virtual lock to immediately start this upcoming season barring an extraneous issue.