Chris Smith has heard the whispers and read the taunting tweets that suggest the only reason he’s on the Knicks training camp roster again is to babysit his big brother J.R. It’s something that’s both frustrating and motivating.

“Everybody just thinks I’m here because of J.R. But I’m here because [the Knicks] see potential me” Smith said. “It’s very tough dealing with that. But at the same time I have to keep it moving. I have to focus on what I have to do lock in and get the job done and be determined.”

Chris Smith has been all that during training camp as he tries to overcome long odds and land a spot on the roster. A member of Louisville’s Final Four team in 2012 Chris Smith was around the Knicks all last year following patella tendon surgery last October after playing on the team’s summer league team.

The surgery was needed to remove bone fragments that threatened to end his professional career before it had a chance to start.
“They removed two big chunks of bone and I wasn’t able to do anything on it for about four months” Smith said. “After that it was pretty much learning how to walk again. Some of the doctors said there was a chance of never playing again. But my thing is nothing for me has ever really come easy.”

Smith like his brother attended St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark after growing up in Lakewood N.J. He then went to Manhattan College for two years before transferring to Louisville. He went undrafted in 2012 then caught on with the Knicks summer league team last year before the injury.

Now he’s looking to land a spot as one of the backup point guards behind Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni. Beno Udrih of Slovenia Tim Hardaway Jr. Tour’e Murry and Chris Douglas-Roberts are the other guards elbowing for a roster spot.