J.R. Smith has some nerve.
He got got caught untying Shawn Marion’s shoelaces, talked his way out of a fine and then pretended to pull the same stunt against Greg Monroe (though I can buy the possibility Smith was joking when he reached toward Monroe’s shoe and had no true intention of grabbing the lace).
We don’t know exactly why the NBA didn’t fine Smith, but maybe it’s in part because he shifted blame to everyone’s favorite target: Dwight Howard. Marc Berman of the New York Post:
Smith reportedly told the NBA during his meeting Rockets center Dwight Howard pulled the shoelace stunt on him in Houston on [Friday]. Smith, however, got caught and Howard didn’t.
Smith wouldn’t confirm the Howard incident Tuesday. ‘“I’m not saying that,’’ he said.
Perhaps, Smith’s story got twisted as it was relayed by sources. Maybe Howard’s move was a little different and didn’t come on a free throw. Maybe Howard actually did it to Smith before Friday.
But if Smith told the NBA that Howard inspired the untie-a-shoelace-during-a-free-throw trick during that game, I’m convinced Smith lied or at least misrepresented the truth. Not only did Howard not to do it Smith first, Smith did it to Howard!
Through NBA.com/stats, I watched every non-technical, non-Howard free throw before Smith untied Howard’s shoelaces (because if Howard tried to pull the trick during those foul shots…) while both were in the game. Every instance provided a view that allows me to conclude Howard didn’t try to untie Smith’s shoes first, though Howard retaliated later:
(hat tip for the second video: Kenny Ducey)
But for Smith to shift focus onto Howard would be completely misleading.
Now, I wonder how long has Smith been pulling this trick and what did he pull on the league office?