J.R. Smith, slow learner: Despite warning, Knicks guard tries to untie a shoe again (video) (UPDATE)
On Tuesday, reports surfaced indicating that the NBA was reviewing New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith’s on-court antics on Sunday when he clearly can be seen attempting to untie the Dallas Mavericks’ Shawn Marion’s laces while Dirk Nowitzki was taking a free throw.
A source indicated that the league was considering disciplining Smith for the stunt. As it turns out, the NBA reportedly decided to not punish Smith, instead opting to only inform Smith that this kind of behavior would not be tolerated, with a league source telling the New York Post: “The league told him it can’t happen again.”
One would think that Smith would be able to contain his impulses for shoelace-based chicanery, you know, for one night, but there he was on Tuesday, once again attempting to loosen the laces of Greg Monroe’s shoes during a game against the Detroit Pistons.
Because this appears to be an ongoing issue, the ensuing coverage needs a name. I dub it, “Shoelacegate.” It’s catchy.
For what it’s worth, Smith was cavalier about the hoopla surrounding his hijinks, saying after the game he wasn’t too worried about the NBA’s position on his tomfoolery, saying, “I wasn’t really too concerned about [getting fined], according to the Post.
Smith was then asked if he understood that the league was trying to send him a message about doing it, he shrugged it off.
“Yes and no. I’m not really supposed to talk about it,” Smith said.
Smith allegedly told the NBA during a meeting with the league regarding the incident that Dwight Howard pulled the stunt on him first during a game last Friday against the Houston Rockets before retaliating. Smith addressed the incident on Twitter:
Yea I do it every game! RT @bwolfe_22: @TheRealJRSmith I seen you untie Dwights shoe against the rockets too! Haha didn’t you?
— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) January 6, 2014
In the end, Smith doesn’t seem to have the capacity to learn from his mistakes, nor does he appear to take the NBA’s insistence that he fall in line seriously. Knicks coach Mike Woodson says Smith should, to quote Dave Coulier, just “Cut it out.”
“He shouldn’t be doing stuff like that,’’ Woodson said, according to the Post. “I’m going to talk to him more about it when I get in [the locker room]. His focus should be on just playing basketball. That’s what it’s about. Those are things you just don’t do. You think you’ve seen it all and something creeps in.’’
Indeed, something invariably creeps in once you think you’ve seen it all. And in this case, it appears to be a creep that is causing something to keep creeping in.
UPDATE: The New York Post is reporting that Smith has been fined $50,000 by the NBA for what the league is deeming “recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct.” Hardly shocking given how Smith essentially thumbed his nose at the league with his conduct on the court on Tuesday and his comments after the game. Hopefully, Smith isn’t too surprised by this outcome. If he is, well, there you go.