NBA fines J.R. Smith $50,000

Updated: January 8, 2014, 8:57 PM ET
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The NBA has fined J.R. Smith $50,000 for "recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct" following his shoelace stunts in the New York Knicks' past two games, the league announced Wednesday.

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' next game Tuesday.

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

One day later, the league took action.

Smith took to Twitter on Wednesday, posting an apology:

Knicks coach Mike Woodson called Smith's conduct "unacceptable" in an interview Wednesday 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 had been in trouble with the league already this season.

He was suspended the first five games without pay for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy in the offseason. And in November, Smith was fined $25,000 for sending what the league deemed a hostile tweet to Detroit's Brandon Jennings after Jennings questioned the credentials of Smith's brother, Chris, a former Knicks guard.

In 2012, the NBA docked Smith $25,000 for posting an inappropriate picture of a woman on his Twitter account. He was fined $5,000 for flopping in Game 1 of a 2013 playoff series against Indiana and suspended for Game 4 of the Knicks-Celtics series in last year's playoffs after elbowing Jason Terry in the head.

[+] EnlargeJ.R. Smith
Bruce Bennett/Getty ImagesJ.R. Smith was fined $50,000 by the NBA on Wednesday after two incidents in which he attempted to untie opponents' shoelaces.

His total in fines since joining the Knicks in 2011 is $105,000, not including the loss of game checks during his two suspensions.

"There's no question he's done a lot of things this year that put him in a bad position and our team in a bad position," Woodson said Wednesday. "Somehow we've got to clean that up. He was a big, major part of what we did last season. There's no doubt about that. We need him to be that J.R."

Smith won the NBA's Sixth Man Award last season after averaging 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

The 28-year-old signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Knicks in July. Days later, he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He later acknowledged having delayed the surgery until after he signed his contract because it "made more sense for my family."

He missed training camp following surgery, and Woodson said recently that the shooting guard was still dealing with soreness in his knee.

Smith's scoring is down markedly from last season. He is shooting just 34.8 percent from the field and is averaging 11.3 points in 29 games.

After Tuesday's game, Smith was asked if he "got the message" from the league after it warned him following the first shoelace incident.

"Yes and no," Smith said. "I'm not really supposed to talk about it, so I'll leave it at that."

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