Jan 12, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
J.R. Smith has been at the center of attention in New York lately, first for on-court antics that resulted in a fine, then for being benched by Knicks head coach Mike Woodson in the team’s win over the Miami Heat.
This is how it goes, of course, when players get into any type of trouble — the attention lands squarely on their shoulders, for all the wrong reasons. But the Knicks have turned things around lately, and have won four straight and five of their last six since the new year began.
The focus should be on more positive matters, and maybe it will start to shift after Smith returned to the lineup on Saturday, played well for the first time in a long time, and said afterward that he had learned his lesson.
“That’s the worst feeling in the world, someone takes the game away from you, especially something you love,” Smith said. “It’s all you know, you’ve been doing it your whole life.”
“Be serious, be a professional and don’t take this opportunity for granted,” Smith on the lesson he learned. “There’s a lot of people in the world who want our jobs and we can’t take it for granted. It can be taken away just that fast.”
Smith sparked his team in the second quarter, going 4-of-4 from the field to finish with 11 points and four assists in the period, one in which his team outscored its opponent by 20 points.
The good news for the Knicks is that they managed to keep winning through the distraction, and with Smith back in the lineup they could potentially be even better. Those less optimistic, however, will simply wonder when the next needless controversy surrounding Smith will take place.
- Kobe Bryant thinks he could physically play beyond contract extension 3
- Trey Burke, in wake of nude-photo scandal: ‘My judgments will be much better’ 11
- Report: Kevin Durant says he wants to play in 2016 Olympics (his free agent summer) 5
- Morris twins sign four-year extensions with Suns 11
- ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 Preview: Washington Wizards 3
- Rockets’ Daryl Morey fires back at Mark Cuban: If you care about chemistry, why break up a title team? 35
- Deron Williams fires back at Kobe: “If I’m 0-for-f******-9, I’m not shooting 20 more shots” 43
- LeBron James on running the Cavaliers offense: ‘This is Kyrie’s show’ 29