After calling for potential street justice towards Pistons guard Brandon Jennings because of an insult to his teammate and brother Chris Smith, Knicks guard J.R. Smith has done it again. He’s become the dreaded phrase no player wants to be associated with-“An off the court distraction”.
We all know this wasn’t an isolated incident. Smith’s Twitter escapades are well documented including “before pipe” tweets and “after pipe” tweets. But after being suspended for the first five games of the season because of a positive marijuana test, we were told by Smith himself that he was a changed man.
Even Knicks teammate Carmelo Anthony had a “heart to heart” exchange with the 27 year-old guard in the offseason. “The time is now,” Anthony told Smith. “You’ve got to want to help yourself. Everybody else wants to help you, but if you don’t want to help yourself, that defeats the purpose.”
He was supposed to mature this year. That previous tomfoolery from that past was going to be just that. The past.
Unfortunately for the Knicks, resigning Smith to a three-year contract in the offseason has not brought about a new man.
One would think that his encounter with life consequences in 2007 would have more than profound effect on him. Six years ago, Smith driving with his friend, Andre Bell, as a passenger, blew a stop sign, and collided with another car that ended up killing Bell. Smith was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but only ended up serving 24 days.
So, after being responsible for his friend’s death, serving time in jail, being suspended and fined multiple times throughout his career, with as recently as this week for Twitter threats, Smith still doesn’t get it.
Understandably, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson was not happy with the latest Smith embarrassment. In fact, he went as far to say, “eventually no team is going to want to deal with you.”
Obviously, Smith doesn’t listen to many people. My bet is he won’t take heed of this clear cut foreshadowing either.