Karl calls J.R. 'immature' for shoelace stunt

George Karl probably knows J.R. Smith pretty well. He coached him in Denver for five years.

So what did Karl think of Smith's latest shoelace snafu?

"It seems like he wants to have a little bit of an immature mockery of some of the standards," Karl, an ESPN analyst, said Thursday on ESPN New York 98.7's FM "The Michael Kay Show."

Karl also said Smith's shoelace stunt shows that he "didn't have enough respect" for the player-coach relationship.

The NBA fined Smith $50,000 on Wednesday for "recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct" following his shoelace stunts in the New York Knicks' recent games against Houston, Dallas and Detroit.

"He's going to wake up some day and he's going to realize that he's thrown away some great opportunities and great years because of this mockery that he brings to the game," Karl said.

Karl said Smith has "a skill that championship teams need" and suggested that he might be better off with a team of veterans such as the Spurs or Heat.

"There's that possibility," Karl said. "I think right now that's the position if I was J.R.'s agent [I would take]. I would be looking at a culture where there would be more peer pressure."

Karl also said the Spurs have been interested in Smith in the past. Smith was a free agent over the summer and signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Knicks.

"I know San Antonio has always liked J.R. Smith and I know they've thought about bringing him in," Karl said. "San Antonio doesn't make a lot of mistakes."

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