Mike Woodson Speaks out on J.R. Smith's Lack of Maturity

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Mike Woodson Speaks out on J.R. Smith's Lack of Maturity
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

J.R. Smith has made plenty of headlines off the court, and New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson is ready to see some maturation from his shooting guard.

When discussing Smith's upcoming five-game suspension under the NBA's anti-drug program, Woodson said Smith "has got to grow up and do the right things," according to ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley.

Smith won the Sixth Man of the Year award last season after setting career highs in points (18.1 per game), rebounds (5.3) and minutes played (33.5). He was able to parlay that into a three-year contract for a reported $18 million this offseason, but even that transaction has been tainted with a bit of controversey. Al Iannazzone of Newsday detailed how Smith delayed a knee surgery until after he received a new contract, with the 10th-year veteran calling it a "family decision."

Smith's five-game suspension will go into effect once he's healthy and recovered from his knee injury. Begley also relayed comments from an apologetic Smith at Monday's team media day session.

"I'm more disappointed because I let my teammates and my coaches down more than anything," Smith said. "I let (Knicks owner James) Dolan down."   

Throughout his career, Smith has built up a reputation as hot-headed at times. In Game 3 of last year's first-round series against the Celtics, Smith was suspended one game after elbowing Jason Terry.

He's also raised a lot of eyebrows via social media, including using hashtags like "#nosandusky" and being fined $25,000 by the NBA for posting a racy picture of a woman in 2012. Begley shared that Woodson said he hopes this can serve as a lesson for the 28-year-old.

"I'm more disappointed because I let my teammates and my coaches down more than anything," Smith said. "I let (Knicks owner James) Dolan down."

There are high expectations once again in New York. Metta World Peace and Andrea Bargnani join forces with Carmelo Anthony and Co. as the Knicks look to challenge the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference. Woodson hopes Smith can be a part of the winning solution.  

 

"I'm more disappointed because I let my teammates and my coaches down more than anything," Smith said. "I let (Knicks owner James) Dolan down."

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