J.R. Smith disputes $1 million fine


Reports out of China indicate that J.R. Smith was fined more than $1 million by his Chinese Basketball Association team for missing practice.

Zhao Bing, the general manager for Zhejiang Chouzhou, told reporters in China that Smith was docked about 1/3 of his salary for missing practice.

"This was the arrangement when he came to the team," Zhao said, according to a report by published by NetEase. "Every practice we let him know. If he expressed to us that he wasn't going to come to practice, we'd tell him that in accordance with our contract, we’re deducting money from your salary. And he’d always get back to us with, 'Whatever. If you’re going to take it, then just take it.' "

Smith denied the reports late last week.

"Not even close," he said when a reporter asked if the amount was correct.

SMITH SAYS LIN DREW HIM TO NY: Smith was in China when Jeremy Lin first emerged from end-of-the-bench afterthought to NBA starter.

Smith, a soon-to-be-free-agent, was being pursued the the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers. Chris Paul was in his ear. So was Carmelo Anthony.

Smith said he was considering all three teams.

But when Lin emerged as a legitimate play-maker for the Knicks, it boosted New York's stock in Smith's eyes.

"I knew the Clippers had Chris Paul and once [Lin] started playing well it definitely made an impact on my decision because playing with a point guard is huge," Smith said. "The way he was getting everybody involved and still doing his thing, that's big for any two guard."

Smith signed with the Knicks on Feb. 17. In four games, he's averaging 11 points in 27 minutes.

Smith, a career 37 percent 3-point shooter, is expected to boost the Knicks' sagging outside shooting. New York will enter play Wednesday with the fourth-lowest field goal percentage from beyond the arc.

Thanks to NIUBBBALL.com for digging up the report from China