A Disruption in Class — J.R. Smith
USA Today Sports
J.R. Smith is the abstract peer we all remember from middle-school chemistry class. Not the one that tinkers and experiments with gadgets that eventually becomes a genius, no, Smith is rather the outspoken funny man distracting the class with obscure jokes and obscene gestures. He’s simply a class clown, a student yearning for acceptance among his peers.
Mike Woodson, with the respect of a substitute teacher, inconsistently distributes disciplinary action and hasn’t properly handled Smith’s presence in the classroom. Smith was seen untying one of Shawn Marion’s sneaker laces in the New York Knicks’ win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. Later in the week Smith was up to his crafty tricks against the Detroit Pistons, but to no avail. Greg Monroe‘s laces may have been double-knotted, or something, because Smith was caught trying to make a fool of the Pistons forward and he was not successful.
Thursday, the Miami Heat joined the Knicks for a lecture in Madison Square Garden. Kevin Harlin and Steve Kerr reiterated Smith’s recent incidents, and the repercussions, to those tuning in on TNT; informing the national audience he had been fined $50,000 by the league for misbehaving, but, to be fair — he was only trying to.
“It’s just got to stop. I keep saying this every time something pops up, but it’s got to stop.” – Woodson told ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s “The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show.”
Smith’s actions, deemed illegal by NBA rules, are childish and immature — but are also hilarious. From a PR standpoint, the Knicks best move would probably be trading Smith as soon as possible. However he can’t be traded until January 15th, so Woodson assigned Smith a seat in the back row for yesterday’s lesson, “How to beat the Heat.” The Knicks, free from the distractions, eventually aced the test and defeated the Heat, 102-92. Woodson’s lesson worked, but Smith continued to alienate himself from the class.
Those fortunate enough to witness the awkward (and equally awesome) quarrel between student and teacher are responsible for spreading the gossip around school the following day, those are the undeniable rules. At this point; Woodson and the Knicks would prefer to send Smith across the country to a prestigious boarding school, unfortunately, the cost is just too high. He’s a talented player, albeit his antics and attitude aren’t fit for acidemia.
J.R. Smith likes to have fun, so let’s have some fun with J.R. Smith.
It’s not that Smith isn’t funny, he is — but the opposition will not like being made a fool of. Pretend we’re preparing for a game against the Knicks and we must devote time to defend against Smith’s go-to prank.
Photo Credit: Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey)
This photo is from January 3rd, an incident that – seemingly – went unnoticed. Smith fooled everyone with this one. In fact, he should receive extra credit for being deceptive and pulling this one off against another goofball — Dwight Howard. It’s a close game as time is winding down in the 3rd-quarter, for those scouting to defend themselves from being ‘punked,’ perhaps this is a tendency to be weary of in the future. Let’s look at the tape.
With time winding down at the half against the Mavericks, Smith’s gig was up for good after successfully undoing what possibly took Shawn Marion all morning to accomplish (I’m kidding, Smith is the funny guy here, not me). With the tape on this joker out, Monroe and the Pistons prepared for their meeting with the Knicks on Tuesday. That’s when Smith started to get careless.
Rather than keeping a low-profile, or sticking to the tendencies successful in the past, Smith was caught simply being reckless. Now, the scouting report is out — his life as the NBA’s most prolific prankster was short lived.
Smith has gotten away with these antics before, it’s safe to assume he’ll try and perform them again. Regardless of his future the reputation has been repeatedly affirmed, and on multiple occasions. Regardless, wherever he is — Smith is going to make plenty of people laugh, because that’s what pranksters do. As for his future, well, I think it’d be more fun – for all of us – to leave that up to speculation.