JR Smith's Latest Headband Antics Prove He Hasn't Grown from Previous ExperienceFebruary 26, 2014
Some guys never learn, and J.R. Smith clearly hasn't with the New York Knicks.
Smith has been in trouble for some of his strange antics in the past, but his recent string of lunacy has continually gotten him in trouble, earned him a spot on the bench for a short amount of time and nearly got him traded out of New York.
Earlier in the season, Smith was fined $50,000 for untying the shoelaces of multiple players and ultimately rode the pine for a number of games as a result.
So what does he do for an encore? He decided to pull down the headband of one of the most veteran players in Vince Carter in the middle of the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks to prove his maturity.
Let's also point out that the Knicks lost that game to drop to 21-36 on the season and 12-19 at Madison Square Garden.
After coming into the season with hopes of contending in the Eastern Conference, New York isn't even sniffing a playoff spot at this point and is the laughing stock of the NBA.
While this isn't the worst story coming out of the Knicks' locker room—that belongs to one Raymond Felton and his gun charges, according to Julie Cannold, Shimon Prokupecz and Ray Sanchez of CNN—Smith's antics show that he isn't growing from his previous experiences.
Smith's on-court antics don't hide his underwhelming production this year, either. In 33.1 minutes per game, he is shooting a career-worst 38.7 percent from the field and 60.6 percent from the line. He's averaging just 12.9 points per contest. Perhaps he should focus more on improving his numbers rather and less on causing distractions.
Some may see the action as simply playful and nothing to worry over, and others view it as Smith being a clown on the court. Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser of ESPN brought up those points precisely on the air, per Pardon the Interruption's official account:
Mike defends JR Smith pulling a headband: "This is not the No Fun League." Tony: "No, it's the No Bozo Association." pic.twitter.com/WiuJkuYUry— PTI (@PTI) February 25, 2014
Regardless of what others believe, coach Mike Woodson made it clear earlier in the season that he was not going to put up with any more antics from Smith.
Ken Berger of CBS Sports brought up the maligned player's rift with Woodson after the first incident earlier in the season:
From sixth man to persona non grata -- that's how quickly Smith has fallen out of favor with the Knicks. In a radio interview on Wednesday, Woodson called Smith's latest actions "unacceptable" and said, "It's just got to stop. I keep saying this every time something pops up, but it's got to stop."
Woodson has tended to pamper Smith throughout his career, but he clearly drew the line earlier on in the season.
Given the latest shenanigans from Smith, it should be interesting to see how Woodson takes action. But with the much more pressing issue of Felton's arrest, Smith's punishment might be put on the back burner for now.
The worst part for New York is that Smith is in only the first season of a three-year contract for over $17.9 million guaranteed, according to spotrac.com.
With that contract and the continued collapse in New York, it's an unfortunate marriage that won't end soon enough for Knicks fans.
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