The latest transgression checks in much closer to the "dumb but harmless" end of the spectrum than some of Smith's previous screwups. But given the New York Knicks guard's extensive off-the-court history, it's not exactly encouraging to seem him continue to run afoul of good sense.
In honor of Smith's latest mistake, now seems like a good time to run through his catalog of blunders.
Dec. 16, 2006: The Brawl
I realize we're breaking the "off-the-court" parameters of this timeline right off the bat, but this one is too memorable to exclude. After a hard foul from Mardy Collins, Smith touched off a brawl that resulted in a number of suspensions, not the least of which was his own 10-game ban.
Carmelo Anthony's sucker punch and subsequent backward dash got most of the headlines here, but the fact is that Smith's violent reaction to what was admittedly a flagrant foul lit the fuse.
Feb. 7, 2007: J.R. and Melo Ride Again
In what would be a precursor to a much more horrifying incident, Smith and Anthony were involved in a minor car accident that caused both players to miss shootaround before a game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
According to the Associated Press (via ESPN), Smith was driving one of Anthony's cars when the fender bender occurred.
June 9, 2007: Tragedy
Calling what happened on June 9, 2007, one of Smith's "antics" is crass, insensitive and a gross understatement. It was a tragedy.
Smith was driving an SUV that ran a stop sign at approximately 5:30 p.m., according to ESPN. As a result, Smith's vehicle collided with another and flipped over. Smith wasn't seriously injured, but one of his passengers, friend Andre Bell, died two days later as a result of head injuries he sustained in the wreck.
According to USA Today, "Smith amassed 27 points against his license from April 22, 2005, to Jan. 10, 2006, with eight violations on seven dates. Five of the citations were for speeding." His license was technically in good standing at the time of the crash.
The fallout of the accident included a 90-day jail sentence for Smith, who avoided a more serious felony charge. He did 24 days of jail time, agreed to perform 500 hours of community service and was suspended for seven games.
Oct. 13, 2007: Back in Action
Smith wouldn't serve his jail sentence until 2009, so in the meantime, he kept up his habit of bad decisions. On Oct. 13, just a few months after his tragic accident, Smith was allegedly involved in a fight outside a Denver nightclub.
The Nuggets suspended him for three games.
Aug. 5, 2009: Twitter Trouble
As soon as Smith was released from jail in 2009, he hopped on Twitter and got himself right back into hot water.
This time, a few of his tweets caught the attention of a few followers who noticed that he was replacing "C's" with "K's," a common practice among affiliates of the Bloods gang. Perhaps Smith made some new friends during his three weeks in the slammer.
Smith abruptly shut down his account. Don't worry, though; this was far from his last social media mistake.
March, 2012: The Photo Incident
Smith caused an uproar when he posted a risque picture of model Tahiry Jones on his Twitter account. The league levied a $25,000 fine for the move.
Let's forge ahead.
May, 2012: Busted Again
Miami police spotted J.R. Smith on South Beach in May, 2012, but it wasn't the first time they'd seen him. According to Howard Beck of The New York Times, the same officers had seen Smith riding a motor scooter in the area a year prior.
They cited him then for driving the scooter without a license, but naturally, Smith failed to appear in court. A bench warrant was issued, and the cops hooked Smith, who was later released on bond.
Jan. 26, 2013: The Pipe
In Smith's most notable social media gaffe, he engaged in a not-so-subtle exchange with a female fan.
Behold the tactful Smith at his best.
Sept. 6, 2013: The Latest
After chronicling Smith's missteps, both boneheaded and utterly tragic, we've circled all the way back to the present.
A five-game suspension for substance abuse (which a source told Wojnarowski was for a positive marijuana test) will keep Smith out of the Knicks rotation for the first couple of weeks of the NBA season.
One might question the wisdom of signing a player with these kinds of character faults to a new three-year deal worth $18 million. One might further question the wisdom of that contract when considering the fact that Smith's "career year" last season involved 42 percent shooting and a playoff disappearance.
Then again, presuming there's any wisdom in the Knicks' front office is probably unwise in itself.
Smith's next three seasons are going to be pretty good theater in New York.
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