- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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"Honestly I've been doing it for four-five years and I've only seen it from a joking side. And it is what it is. I guess some people don't have a sense of humor that others have," Smith said after the Knicks' shootaround on Saturday morning.
Smith was fined $50,000 by the NBA for his attempts to untie two opponents' shoelaces in recent New York Knicks games. The 28-year-old was also benched by coach Mike Woodson on Thursday against the Miami Heat. It is unclear if Smith will play Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Woodson would not address the situation on Saturday morning. Smith said he wasn't sure if he was going to play.
The reigning Sixth Man award winner spoke to Woodson on Friday in an attempt to clear the air.
He said he tried to convey that his shoelace stunt was a joke but was unsuccessful.
"It was a good thing that didn't last," he said, adding, "I've been misunderstood my whole life. it's not going to change now."
Smith also admitted that he was "frustrated" that the shoelace stunt has spiraled into a national story.
"Yeah I see it as frustrating and a distraction to our team. A distraction to what we're trying to do. I'm not pleased with it," he said. He also said he could see why some would consider it a serious matter "because I really don't have a choice."
Woodson has been silent on Smith's antics for the last couple of days. But he blasted Smith on Wednesday in an interview on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Stephen A. Smith Show." Woodson called Smith "unprofessional" and said that the shooting guard needed to "grow up."
"He's been telling me that since I got here," Smith said. "Honestly, growing up, I don't know if I really understand the true meaning of it."
Smith's season has been a forgettable one to this point. He was suspended for the first five games of the regular season for violating the league's anti-drug policy. After his brother, Chris, was cut from the team, J.R. expressed frustration with the situation on social media.
On the court, Smith has struggled to rebound from offseason knee surgery. He is shooting just 32 percent from the floor and scoring nearly seven points fewer per-game than he did last season.
Smith was asked to give his reaction to the idea that the Knicks -- and New York in general -- have turned on him in recent weeks.
"What have you done for me lately, pretty much," Smith said. "You miss shots, it's going to happen."
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