Knicks coach Mike Woodson didn’t quite yell “get off my lawn” at J.R. Smith, but pretty much.
Remember that Smith got ejected with 10.7 seconds left in the Knicks loss to the Pacers Tuesday, picking up a flagrant 2 foul for throwing Leandro Barbosa to the ground (the league did not fine him and reduced it to a Flagrant 1).
Woodson, ever the disciplinarian and father figure, had a long talk with Smith Wednesday after practice (in full view of reporters) about being more professional.
Thursday — after shoot around before the Magic game (for once the Knicks do not have the most dysfunctional coaching situation in the building) — Woodson spoke more about Smith and professionalism. And according to the quotes in the New York Post, he morphed into your grandfather.
“I told him I’m going to continue to coach him as long as I’m coaching the team,” Woodson said at the Thursday morning shootaround at Amway Center. “I told him I’m not going to let him off the hook. I want his shorts pulled up. I want him to look presentable. Be a professional. That’s what it’s all about.’’
Asked specifically how he wanted Smith to be more professional, Woodson said, “On and off the court. On the floor I want him to be happy when he’s playing, feel good about himself. When things go bad, I don’t want that look on his face that the world is coming down on him. We make mistakes and we miss shots. It’s OK.’’
It’s a line to walk — Smith plays with an edge, and that part of his game comes out of his entire persona. You may want Smith to pull up his shorts or “feel good about himself” but you don’t want him to lose that edge either.
Actually, I’m not all that worried about Smith losing his edge. But I guess he could pull his pants up for a few more weeks.