Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports broke the news on Friday:
Knicks G JR Smith fined $25K for directing hostile and inappropriate language to Pistons G Brandon Jennings via his Twitter account.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) November 15, 2013
Smith, the Association's reigning Sixth Man of the Year, started out the 2013-14 season on a five-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy. Since returning, he has shot just 25.7 percent from the field in averaging 10.7 points per game in three contests.
Although it's understood that Smith is one of the more colorful personalities and is rather candid on Twitter (he has tweeted over 16,000 times), what he expressed to Jennings was widely interpreted as threatening.
Jennings poked a bit of fun at the fact that Smith's brother, Chris, was in the NBA, but that other, more deserving players in his eyes weren't. The tweet was deleted but captured by Toronto Raptors reporter Holly MacKenzie:
That instigated the spat between the two, as Smith defended his brother, who hasn't appeared in a game for the Knicks yet this season.
Smith deleted a tweet "appearing to threaten to send his 'street homies' to Detroit, presumably to confront Jennings," per ESPN New York.
That report also documented what Smith had to say about the controversy before news broke of his hefty fine:
Threaten? No. There's a way to threaten somebody, and that's not the way to publicly threaten somebody...It's not that serious. I go to L.A. in the summertime and see him all the time ... I don't know how it got this blow out of proportion.
I was definitely frustrated because you get tired of people trying to pick on your little brother, so it's my little brother, I'm going to step up for him, good bad or ugly. So it's not just to Brandon. It's to anybody who says anything about him.
Standing up for a sibling is an admirable gesture, but doing so at the expense of his reputation—and his salary—shows that Smith may have taken it to a bit of an extreme.
How do you feel about Smith's fine?
"My whole thing with that is if you're going to tweet, tweet something positive," said Woodson.
It seems that Smith is making headlines for all the wrong reasons in this young season.
This dent in his paycheck should serve as notice for him to get back on track off the court, which could enhance his play on the hardwood after a slow start.