Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Knicks [Print without images]

Saturday, February 18, 2012
Knicks not concerned about Smith's past

By Christopher Hunt



NEW YORK -- J.R. Smith has reputation for a jump shot with a hairpin trigger and he has the ability to electrify Madison Square Garden with his streaky shooting. He also has a reputation for issues off the court.

“We did our due diligence on this and we had people that had, let’s say, inside personal experience with J.R. and they all came out in favor of this move,” said Knicks interim general manager Glen Grunwald.

Grunwald mentioned that Denver director of pro player personnel and former general manager Mark Warkentein was involved in the Knicks landing Smith.

“He was obviously very supportive and obviously the key guy to get this done," Grunwald said. "We talked to a lot of people and we’re comfortable with the decision that we made and we’re hopeful that it will all work out for the best."

Smith most recently drew attention while playing in the Chinese Basketball Association. Smith was involved in a public dispute with Zhejiang’s team management. In 2007, Smith was involved in a car accident in which his friend Andre Bell was killed. He served 30 days of a 90-day jail sentence and received a seven-game suspension that he served during the 2009-10 season after his guilty plea.

Smith was also suspended for three games that season for being involved in a nightclub incident in Denver.

You can follow Christopher Hunt on Twitter.