JR Smith has played an important role for the New York Knicks this season, averaging more than 15 points per game and giving the team a dangerous perimeter shooter. He has been one of the best sixth men in the league, but that does not mean New York’s coaching staff is overly thrilled with him.
On Wednesday night, Smith was ejected in the third quarter of a blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers. He drew a double technical foul after a dust-up with Lance Stephenson in the first half and was tossed in the second half after being called for an offensive foul and using a hand gesture to show his disapproval. Knicks head coach Mike Woodson was not pleased after the game.
“I’m not happy about how we played and how we carried ourselves professionally on the basketball court,” Woodson told reporters, via the NY Post. “We can’t do that. I’m not going to tolerate that. I’m just not.”
Smith also got into a somewhat heated exchange with Knicks assistant coach Herb Williams during a timeout in the first half. According to the Post, the anger between the two appeared to carry over into the locker room after the game:
As Smith talked to a media scrum, Williams walked over and ordered Smith to take his headphones off while he was addressing reporters. Smith’s headphones were draped around his head. Smith took them off and Williams shook his head in disgust as he walked away.
Smith may be playing particularly well this season (he dropped 26 points in a win over the Toronto Raptors just before the All-Star break), but as we know he has an incredibly unique personality. He said his improved play has been the result of toning down the partying, but it sounds like JR is also in need of an attitude adjustment if he wants to continue to have the respect of his coaching staff.
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