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Thursday, January 9, 2014
Smith watches Knicks-Heat from bench

By Ian Begley

NEW YORK -- J.R. Smith was in uniform for Thursday's New York Knicks-Miami Heat game but did not play. It is unclear if the benching was a punishment for his recent shoelace stunts.

The NBA fined J.R. Smith $50,000 for "recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct" following his attempts to untie opponents' shoes in recent Knicks games.

Smith untied Dallas Mavericks forward Shawn Marion's shoelaces during the second quarter of the Knicks' 92-80 win Sunday.

He was warned by the league to "refrain from further conduct of this nature" before the Knicks' following game, Tuesday versus the Detroit Pistons.

Smith was then seen Tuesday attempting to repeat the action when he reached for the shoes of Pistons big man Greg Monroe while lined up at the free throw lane.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said before Thursday's game he would not address Smith's actions.

"In fairness to our team, I’m not addressing anything else with J.R.," Woodson said. "I’m not. I’m just not."

Smith sat at the end of the bench during the game and stood a few feet outside of the Knicks' timeout huddles.

Woodson was highly critical of Smith after the NBA announced its fine Wednesday. He called Smith's conduct "unacceptable" in an interview with ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show."

"I'm not happy about this because he was warned, he comes back, and he makes the same mistake, and it's not right," Woodson said. "It's just got to stop. I keep saying this every time something pops up, but it's got to stop."

The coach added that Smith has been "unprofessional about how he's approached this whole thing. Something's gotta be done. It has to stop. I'll address it tomorrow when I see him, and then we'll go from there."

Smith posted an apology on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.

Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com on Wednesday that the Knicks have become increasingly frustrated with Smith's on- and off-the-court transgressions, and have in recent days begun exploring the potential trade market for him. However, sources say, the Knicks realize that a trade in this climate may be difficult to execute.