- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Victor Cruz has some pointers on how to salsa for his good friend J.R. Smith, who did Cruz's patented dance after hitting a game-winning shot at the buzzer to beat Charlotte on Wednesday.
"We got to go to the drawing board a little bit, it was a little stiff at the end," Cruz joked. "We'll get that squared away."
Cruz and Smith grew up in New Jersey and even played AAU ball together when they were teenagers. After practice Wednesday, Cruz tuned in to watch Smith and the Knicks take on the Bobcats. With the game tied at 98-98, Smith hit a fadeaway buzzer-beater to give the Knicks the 100-98 win. Smith scored 13 points on 6-of-16 shooting Wednesday, including 1-of-9 from 3.
"When he hit it I almost jumped off the couch and then when he was coming off the court I saw him do the salsa and I was like 'Oh man,'" Cruz said. "I was waiting for my phone to blow up and literally four seconds after that my phone started going crazy."
Cruz texted Smith after the game, telling his former teammate: "You didn't have to salsa on them like that. LOL." When they talked afterward, the Knicks' shooting guard asked the receiver if he approved of his impression of the dance and told Cruz that he just had to do the salsa to celebrate.
"It's good to see," Cruz said. "It's not every day you hit a game-winner and he gets to salsa on them a little bit. I was happy for him."
3dDan Graziano and Adam Caplan