Another day, another bizarre off-the-court story for the New York Knicks.
Coach Mike Woodson should probably be spending his time preparing for upcoming opponents. Instead, on Thursday, he was forced to answer questions regarding a well-publicized Twitter beef between one of his players, J.R. Smith, and Brandon Jennings of the Detroit Pistons.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Woodson is considering banning his players from Twitter altogether. Al Iannazzone of Newsday and ESPN New York's Ian Begley tweeted:
Woodson said he will address JR Smith's twitter issue after the game and said he might institute some twitter guidelines.— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) November 14, 2013
Woodson said he'd consider instituting a policy in which #Knicks players can't tweet in season. I'd be surprised if this happens.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 14, 2013
It seems doubtful that Woodson will be able to ban his players from Twitter entirely. Perhaps he should focus less on instituting a general ban and more on keeping J.R. Smith as far as possible from all computers and smartphones.
On J.R. Smith's tweet to Brandon Jennings, Woodson said, "My whole thing with that is if you’re going to tweet, tweet something positive."— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 14, 2013
JR Smith said he didn't threaten Brandon Jennings on Twitter. but he said he was frustrated because of what Jennings said about his brother— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) November 15, 2013
The Jennings incident is Smith's third well-publicized Twitter controversy in his two-plus seasons with the Knicks. In 2012-13, he was criticized for his now-infamous "You trying to get the pipe?" tweet to a high school student, and in 2011-12 he was fined $25,000 by the league for what can only be described as "Bootygate."
J.R. was clearly trying to get some frustration out through social media in relation to Jennings picking on his little brother, but Smith may be ditching Twitter altogether moving forward.
JR Smith: "I might go back to Instagram instead of twitter."— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) November 15, 2013
It's just another reminder that in the year 2013, constant vigilance and self-awareness is a must for all athletes and public figures on social media.
In Smith's case, he has to know by now that anything he does will be put under the microscope.
Welcome to playing in New York.