VIDEO: Knicks guard J.R. Smith has some issues with shoelaces, as Shawn Marion finds out
ATLANTA — What started as fun and games between old friends has morphed into a full-blown mess for New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith. A mess Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard never saw coming.
Long before his $50,000 fine and benching and all of the trade rumors cranked up, Smith was just messing around with Howard during a Jan. 3 game in Houston and playfully untied Howard’s shoe at the free-throw line. He would later get Shawn Marion‘s shoelace in a game against the Mavericks and attempted to get Josh Smith‘s (he ended up settling for Greg Monroe‘s) in a game against the Pistons on Tuesday before Knicks coach Mike Woodson and the fun/foolishness police at NBA headquarters caught up with him.
Woodson unloaded on Smith Wednesday, saying he needed to “grow up” and stop the silliness and the league followed up with that hefty fine for “recurring instance of unsportsmanlike conduct.” Woodson benched Smith for Thursday’s win over the Miami Heat and now the fallout and trade chatter is cranked all the way up heading into this weekend.
“It was just a guy trying to have fun,” Howard said Friday morning at Philips Arena before the Rockets faced the Atlanta Hawks. “I didn’t think it would turn into a big fine. It’s crazy.”
Howard, always a prankster, had plans for retaliation.
“I tried to get him back,” he said. “But I’m glad I didn’t … could have lost some money.”
It could wind up costing Smith a whole lot more than just cash.
VIDEO: The Inside crew discusses J.R. Smith and his future with the Knicks