“I thought it was funny. He took time out of his day to think about me and [Knicks president Phil Jackson], so I think it’s great," Smith said after practice Friday. "Being compared to Dennis Rodman anyway I think is a great thing, so I’ll take it, I like it."
Rodman tweeted Wednesday that he thought of Smith as “the new Dennis Rodman.” On Friday, Smith addressed some of the similarities between the two players.
“I think the reputation [is similar],” Smith said. “Females. Nightlife. Whatever people want to say about us, we’re kind of similar. I think just in general overall, the way we are. We work hard on the court, we play hard off the court, so I’ll take it.”
Aside from sharing a love of tattoos, Smith and Rodman both have drawn attention for their on- and off-court activity.
Rodman accrued fines/suspensions for, among other things, kicking a cameraman and making disparaging remarks about Mormons.
Smith was fined last season for making a tweet the NBA deemed threatening and for untying opponents’ shoelaces. He was also suspended for the first five games of the 2013-14 season because he violated the NBA's drug policy.
Smith has said in the past that he’s a bit misunderstood. His public persona doesn’t represent the person that those closest to him know, he's said.
That disparity is another similarity he sees between himself and Rodman.
“Deep down I think he’s a great person, for the people who actually know and take the time and don’t look at the sideline things he does or did, if you get to know him he’s a great person,” Smith said. “I think I’m the same way.”
The Smith-Rodman comparison was actually sparked before training camp by Jackson.
In an interview with the New York Post, Jackson was asked about Smith and whether he can “get through” to him. Jackson invoked Rodman’s name.
“I don’t know if that’s possible or not,” Jackson said. “He might be one of those guys that’s a little bit like Dennis Rodman that has an outlier kind of side to him. But I’m gonna get to know him as we go along, and we’ll find a way to either make him a very useful player on our organization, or whatever.”
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