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Knicks J.R. Smith suspended five games by league for failed drug test

Sep 6, 2013, 2:44 PM EDT

J.R. Smith AP

J.R. Smith, the Knicks reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year, has been suspended by the league for the first five games of the coming NBA season for failing a drug test.

The league made the news official but Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports had the story first, before it was official.

The suspension is for the first five games Smith is able to play, remember he had off-season knee surgery and there are questions about whether he would be ready to go by opening night. Whenever he is able to come back, that is when the suspension starts.

Five games is the telltale suspension for having tested positive for marijuana use three times in the annual league drug tests. League policy dictates that the first two times a player tests positive he is sent for treatment but there are no fines or suspensions, and nothing is made public. On the third positive test you get a five game suspension.

Smith is a key cog in the Knicks offense, having averaged 18.1 points a game last season. That helped lead to him getting a new three-year, $18 million contract this summer.

Smith has been suspended before: 10 games for a 2006 brawl between the Knicks and Nuggets, seven games in 2007 for his role in an auto accident that left a person dead (he got a 90 day prison sentence with that one, also), and three games for a 2007 nightclub incident.

  1. illegalblues - Sep 6, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    who cares if JR Smith smokes weed? these sort of suspensions shouldn’t be held in the same breath as the other stupid stuff he’s done. 5 games for weed, 7 for being involved with someone’s death. so stupid.

    • ausar02 - Sep 6, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      I don’t have a problem with weed itself. I feel it should be legal. The concern is knowing that he was caught twice he couldn’t refrain from using another time.

      This means to me that he either has an addiction problem, he doesn’t care at all about the ramifications of his actions or some of both. None of which is a positive for Knicks fans. This is not what you would hope for from someone who just signed a contract.

      • asimonetti88 - Sep 6, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        Agreed. It should be legal, but rules are rules. He knew that if he got caught again he would be suspended. He chose to smoke weed knowing this. It’s not the action of smoking weed that got him in trouble, it’s the poor decision making process that went into it.

      • denverhoopdreams - Sep 6, 2013 at 4:58 PM

        I don’t think it is an addiction problem as much as he doesn’t care. When it comes down to it, I don’t think Smith is going around flipping out because of this suspension. He’s going to miss out on the pay, and come out and ball next season. That’s what he does.

        There is a movement in Denver to have leagues (specifically the NFL) allow players who play in this state use recreational marijuana. I agree with it. It should work exactly like the Florida tax law that many players take advantage of!

      • casualcommenter - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:48 PM

        I think most people are with you on that.

        America’s greatest Olympic athlete, Michael Phelps, smokes pot. It hasn’t stopped him from shattering world records.

        That being said, J.R. Smith knows smoking pot while in the NBA jeopardizes his ability to help the Knicks on the court, so when he smokes pot, he’s making a statement on how much he cares (or doesn’t care) about his team.

      • sportsfan18 - Sep 6, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        A poster just above said what’s important is that J.R. doesn’t care…

        It’s sad that others on the teams in the NBA, the NFL etc… don’t really care or mind when these guys choose to do things like this that cause them to miss games…

        So many pro athletes train so hard, try to improve and then to have a jackass not care about his team and his teammates and do something by choice that causes him to miss time with his “brothers”… well don’t talk to me about winning or that he cares about winning and being there for his teammates because those are just words. His actions show that he doesn’t care…

        And as far as balling goes, the dude is even more of a volume scorer than Melo. He shoots worse than Melo even…

        When one actually looks at the stats about how he shoots, it’s amazing he gets all this money…

        Some teams are wising up to players being more efficient, able to actually shoot the ball and going away from volume scorers…

    • lawrinson20 - Sep 6, 2013 at 9:40 PM

      Because it IS illegal. A lot of people don’t think Meth or Cocaine should be illegal. “Victimless crime,” right? Couldn’t have had anything to do with the vehicular homicide…. Or the judgment involved….

      I kinda wish the NBA had a more Roger Goodell-like sensibility in these matters. 5 games is almost a token punishment. You’re either against illegal activity or you aren’t. A 5 game suspension will do little to curb usage. And, it casts a lot of doubt on the efficacy of the testing program. Who here really believes Smith was caught each time he used?

      Even as a Knicks ‘fan,’ i’d rather see this idiot Smith punished to a greater extent. I’m quite sure 5 games won’t make a dent in his ‘psyche.’

      • denverhoopdreams - Sep 6, 2013 at 9:50 PM

        You make it seem like marijuana is as bad as meth and cocaine. Are you just trolling?

      • ProBasketballPundit - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:02 AM

        Meth & cocaine should be legal. There’s no such thing as committing a crime on yourself. Getting in a car high or drunk is a different matter.

  2. legend30 - Sep 6, 2013 at 2:52 PM


    • money2long - Sep 6, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      u make it so obvious ur purely an obnoxious knicks basher. im pretty sure you’re not even really laughing that hard. in an earlier post you said melo took 55 shots a game. it’s pretty clear your opinion on anything pertaining to the knicks has to be scaled back due to unrelenting bias.

      • legend30 - Sep 6, 2013 at 6:26 PM

        I couldn’t disagree with you anymore. I’m not a Knicks basher – I just think that Knicks fans over-hype their team every year. History speaks for itself they haven’t won a championship since 1973. Most Knicks fans probably believe that they are still the best team in New York. Carmelo is surrounded around with bunch of mediocre players, so I expect him to take bunch of shots per game. Why would Melo want to sign a long-term contract with the Knicks, when all they have is Iman Shumpert? I mean Shumpert is not even a superstar, but I’m sure some Knicks fans seriously believe that he’s better than James Harden.

      • money2long - Sep 6, 2013 at 9:27 PM

        how could you say you cant disagree with me anymore when you summed up your statement saying you are SURE some knicks fans think shump is better than harden? that is the crux of my case on you. you say some ild stuff againt the knicks. i can understand being negative against them, but some of your comments have more spice to them. like that one. no one in the world thinks shumpert is better than harden.

      • money2long - Sep 6, 2013 at 9:28 PM


      • legend30 - Sep 6, 2013 at 10:22 PM

        I once had a serious discussion with a Knicks fan that he would take Shumpert over LeBron. I’m not even making this up. He basically said, Shumpert is going to be the best SG in the NBA, and that LeBron is already 28. So he wouldn’t trade Shumpert for LeBron at this point in their professional career. What do you expect say me to say? I’m not going to praise the Knicks for making a trade for Bargnani… The Knicks are not going to become a serious championship contender until A’mare contract is off the books. They are paying over $20 million for a player that is injured and not even a starter. I will go one step further, Tyson Chandler is overrated. Everyone is assuming he’s this intimidating center who protects the paint; all because that one year, when he won the championship with the Mavericks. He’s average at best. He’s not in the class of Noah, Hibbert, Lopez, etc. He’s just average. Why all of sudden I’m taking about A’mare and Chandler? Well, maybe I can speak for myself and others that people are tired with Knicks fans. I don’t hate the Knicks, it’s just some of the fans that act like their team is the next 90’s Chicago Bulls’.

      • money2long - Sep 7, 2013 at 1:52 AM

        like i said, it’s not wrong to have a negative idea about a team. your’s are just spiced up. it’s easy to tell you have some sort of thing against the knicks, and i don’t even remember who on this site hates who as far as people’s favorite teams or most hated teams. but reading how you write your opinions about the knicks, like i said, it’s so clear that you have some sort of over the top admiration for displaying disdain against the new york knicks. keyword, admiration.

      • money2long - Sep 7, 2013 at 1:54 AM

        you’re missing the point when you state negatives against the team. the point is you do it with this obnoxious joy.

      • legend30 - Sep 7, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        How I’m spicing it up? I’m just stating the facts. You don’t have to get upset when someone says something negative about your favorite team.

      • money2long - Sep 7, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        like i said, melo does not take 55 shots a game. that is a clear indication of embellishment. also, you came on here just to say LMAO at jr smith. like i also said, i bet you’re not even laughing that hard. it was just obnoxious.

      • money2long - Sep 7, 2013 at 3:51 PM

        i can speak on negatives about a certain team, any team, lets pick the thunder for instance.

        i can name some moves that team has made that aren’t all that good. but you wouldnt get the sense im getting joy in doing so.

        it’s so easy without asking you that you have this zeal in talking about negatives when it comes to the new york knicks. the point im trying to get across to you is that its not just purely about talking about negatives . its the fact you have an admiration to do so.

        why are you missing that point and only talking about me being “hurt” .

        it is about noticing you have a joy latched on to your negative speak. hence the bias and hence why i said your opinions have to be scaled back due to the obnoxious joy you get in doing so. i know you weren’t busting out and laughing that hard at this story of jr smith. but it pleased you to write lmao.

      • legend30 - Sep 7, 2013 at 11:30 PM

        I was actually laughing. And obviously Melo doesn’t take 55 shots per game. I was simply stating the fact that he’s force to take bunch of shots because the players around him.

      • money2long - Sep 8, 2013 at 2:15 AM

        i dunno if you’ll see this , but to settle this, just say yes or no.

        do you in fact, have joy, when talking badly about the knicks ?

      • money2long - Sep 8, 2013 at 2:36 AM

        now THIS deserves an lmao

      • legend30 - Sep 8, 2013 at 12:00 PM

        I wasn’t laughing at the Knicks. I was laughing at J.R. Smith getting suspended. There’s a difference. To answer your question I don’t find joy saying negative things about the Knicks.

      • money2long - Sep 8, 2013 at 5:49 PM


  3. senorpapino - Sep 6, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Now we know why he predicted an NBA title…

  4. cathyfearon - Sep 6, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Rule Number 5 Rephrased: Do you like acting as inhibited as you are at work in your own house, and having future work evaluations reflect how well you entertain as well as how well you do your job? Then by all means invite people from the office
    .. http:\\q­­ℛ.­n­­­e­t­/kUau

  5. mcqphx - Sep 6, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Hungry for a championship and Cheetos

  6. cantonbound13 - Sep 6, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    So they test for weed & not PED’s? No wonder why LeBron hasn’t been busted.

    • leahcima1 - Sep 6, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      Another brilliant post from Cantonjerk.

      • cantonbound13 - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:05 PM

        Truth hurts? Why don’t you go to a Heat article & kiss LeBron’s a$$. Your comments are not wanted or respected here.

      • sportsfan18 - Sep 6, 2013 at 6:04 PM

        Truth hurts indeed Cantonbound13…

        It’s Kobe that has healed from injuries lightening fast over the yrs compared to others…

        HGH much?

      • brutl - Sep 6, 2013 at 6:06 PM

        News flash, buddy.
        Nobody here respects or wants you here, either!

      • leahcima1 - Sep 6, 2013 at 6:52 PM

        cantonjerk is from New York and now lives in Miami. He’s a Knicks fan from growing up there. Understandable. He lives in Miami now.

        There are two types of New York sports fans. Ninety nine percent are nice guys, knowledgeable, love their teams and fun to bend an elbow with during happy hour. Then there is is one percent that cantonjerk represents, – jealous, angry, ignorant losers. His Knicks have never won a championship in his lifetime. He hates the Heat and has never said a decent thing about them. Why? Miami has won three championships since 2006. Lebron won four season MVPs, two NBA finals MVPs and an Olympic MVP. Wade wins three rings and an Olympic MVP. They both win the respect of their fellow players. The team is made up of good guys who work hard to win for each other. Cantonjerk wins what he always wins, – nothing, zilch, nada. He’s jealous, juvenile. and sports ignorant. And according to one who knows him he should bathe more often. It’s hot and sweaty in Miami.

      • cantonbound13 - Sep 7, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        Jealous of what? A bunch of classless, illiterate, PED users that will be broke in 10 years? Unlike you, it won’t make or break me if a team I follow wins a championship. Maybe you should use your time wisely, improve your personal life & well being, then you wouldn’t have to look for satisfaction from the local sports team. Maybe you’d be less angry.

      • leahcima1 - Sep 7, 2013 at 7:38 PM

        Re cantonbound13 – Sep 7, 2013 at 11:22 AM post. Another brilliant riposte. It is unbelievable how insightful your keen mind is. That will teach me to get into a battle of wits with an unarmed drop out. Not.

    • casualcommenter - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      And your LeBron obsession continues…

      You complain about how many articles on this site are about LeBron, but then, even in articles that don’t mention LeBron, you bring him up.

      • casualcommenter - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:52 PM

        For example, rather than criticize JR Smith for violating the NBA’s drug policy, leading to a suspension that hurts the Knicks’ pursuit of a high playoff seed, you’d rather insult LeBron.

        It’s really sad.

      • jimeejohnson - Sep 6, 2013 at 9:22 PM

        You can take the sphincter out of New Yawk but you can’t take New Yawk out the sphincter. CantonBound’s the latest in a line of major haters who had their hate come back around.

      • jimeejohnson - Sep 6, 2013 at 9:26 PM

        Sphincter = a$$hole

    • sportsfan18 - Sep 6, 2013 at 6:03 PM


      What about Kobe who rehabs from injuries in min’s vs. months like others Cantonbound13?

      Some HGH being used there…

    • illegalblues - Sep 6, 2013 at 6:03 PM

      the lebron obsession here is pretty pitiful. go clean a highway

    • godwinaka - Sep 6, 2013 at 8:37 PM

      The NBA tests for PED’s. Remember Rashard Lewis got caught and suspended? People are saying that there are flaws in their test but they do test.

  7. bougin89 - Sep 6, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    So he’s right in the middle of his offseason routine.

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 6, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      you need a lot of weed to hotbox that tank he’s driving

    • casualcommenter - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      Knicks fans better hope it’s only an offseason routine.

      Smith will be tested more regularly now that he’s failed a test, and he’s shown in the past how little he cares about helping the Knicks win games – for example, he was out clubbing with Rihanna during the playoffs, and not coincidentally, he played like he was hung-over.

      Given that, I wouldn’t assume he’d be smart and stop smoking during the season. He might even view drug suspensions as vacation-time.

  8. provguard - Sep 6, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Weed is a PED??? I always thought it was a deterrent? A taco stand at half court would be the defense.

    • brutl - Sep 6, 2013 at 6:11 PM

      Actually it’s been linked to increased lung capacity so it’s not that far-fetched. The fact that it’s illegal means that it hasn’t been studied extensively, so there is a whole lot we really don’t know.

  9. dysraw1 - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    oh boy this guy is gonna be a positive influence in the locker room,back in the day a good toke would lock me in before i played.but if that sort of behavior is frowned upon, why kill your chances of being a contributor to your team

  10. suckit619 - Sep 6, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Smith is a clown

  11. reupjosh - Sep 6, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Soooooo riiiiiiggggght

  12. reupjosh - Sep 6, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Canto bound is what’s up. Serious, I want to see a lebron pee test, late in the year.

    • jimeejohnson - Sep 6, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      You probably want to see his pecker.

      • cantonbound13 - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:25 PM

        We all know you have already.

  13. panchopolarbear - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    This idiot is really comparing Marijuana to Coke and Meth? Smh educate yourself bro. Same to the LeBron haters. No matter how much you come with your ignorant hate, he’s still living his life and achieving greatness. #hateispointless

  14. legend30 - Sep 7, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Canton, if LeBron uses PED’s that can only mean one thing Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Derek Jeter, Muhumad Ali, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, also used PEDs because they are so highly talented.

  15. teesocialliteepr - Sep 7, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Reblogged this on TeeSocialLiteePR and commented:
    And just when all the Knicks fans get ready to gear up and show New York’s favorite team we never would have thought this would happen. Well I know I didnt see it coming. JR Smith is known for his partying ways but when he shows up on the court you would think he has his head in the game. I guess this will be one party JR wish he never attended. It seems to me that suspending him for 5 games is a little excessive but who am I to judge. His PR team needs to get to working on getting him back in the publics good graces. He needs to gain the trust back from his fans come on JR make us believe that you wont be this careless again!

  16. whereyaat - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    The fact that the millions who love to bash Kobe are not bashing J.R. Smith for doing the exact same thing shows that they are just mindless sheep.

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