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League investigating twitter “threat” from J.R. Smith to Brandon Jennings

Nov 15, 2013, 12:12 PM EDT

J.R. Smith Getty Images

Brandon Jennings took to twitter to fire a shot at Chris Smith being on the Knicks roster (he’s not alone), a tweet he has since deleted. J.R. Smith came to his defense.

And suddenly we had a twitter feud.

But did Smith cross the line in this? One of his tweets said he would send his “street homies” in Detroit in a way that suggested he wanted them to… confront Jennings. We’ll go with confront. The league is investigating, reports ESPNNewYork.com.

J.R. Smith said on Thursday night that he didn’t mean to threaten Jennings with his tweet.

“Threaten? No. There’s a way to threaten somebody, and that’s not the way to publicly threaten somebody,” Smith said before tipoff of the Knicks-Rockets game Thursday night.

He added that he and Jennings are friendly and have played basketball together during the offseason in Los Angeles.

I’d say this was harmless banter, but in a league highly protective of its image — and is particularly sensitive to anything you might attach the label “thug” to — it could mean a fine is coming for Smith.

Smith has been back three games from an offseason that saw knee surgery (which he didn’t get until after he signed a new three-year deal with the Knicks) followed by a five-game drug suspension to start the season. He is shooting just 25.7 percent so far as he tries to find the groove that led him to the Sixth Man of the Year award last year.

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