NEW YORK — J.R. Smith has been a distraction for the Knicks this season, not only because his play has been nowhere near the level it was a season ago when he took home Sixth Man of the Year honors, but also because of some nonsense that’s garnered the team the wrong kind of attention.
Smith recently was involved in an on-court shoelace untying prank that he pulled against the Mavericks’ Shawn Marion, and it was harmless enough, at least the first time.
Before the Knicks faced the Heat on Thursday, Mike Woodson was asked if he’d had another conversation with Smith about these types of incidents that he needlessly involves himself in. But Woodson, for now, is done talking about his talented but troubled reserve.
“In fairness to our team, I’m not addressing anything else with J.R.,” Woodson said. “I’m not. Just not going to do it.”
A follow-up question was asked, but Woodson stuck with his response, and it’s probably the best course of action if Woodson can keep it up — at least until the next seemingly inevitable incident occurs.
By the time the first quarter had ended against Miami, however, Smith had not yet entered the game in his regular spot in the rotation, and both Tim Hardaway Jr. and Toure Murry saw court time while Smith sat in warmups at the end of the Knicks bench.
A report surfaced on Wednesday that the team was checking around about possibly trading Smith, but given his lowered level of production and the repeated issues, suitors aren’t exactly lining up to take him off New York’s hands.
If Woodson decides to sit Smith for an extended period or even the entire game to make a statement, it’ll be fairly difficult to avoid talking about it afterward — despite his best intentions.