New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson tells J.R. Smith to “be more of a pro”

Smith was recently dropped and appears to have learnt his lesson. New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson has insisted that...

Smith was recently dropped and appears to have learnt his lesson.

New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson has insisted that guard J.R. Smith needs to “be more of a pro” and not be distracted from playing basketball.

Smith has angered his coach, the franchise and the NBA with his recent transgressions, which ultimately resulted in Woodson dropping him to the bench against the Miami Heat on Thursday.

The 28-year-old missed the first five games of the season after violating the league’s drug policy, before receiving a $50,000 fine for untying his opponent’s shoelaces despite being warned about his behaviour by the league.

“The bottom line is he’s got to be more of a pro and do the right things and just concentrate on playing basketball,” the Knicks coach said Monday, ESPN reports.

“That’s the name of the game, nothing else. You got to concentrate on your craft and what you’re being paid to do — that’s play basketball. … That’s all I want him to do.”

Smith returned to the court against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday and scored 14 points to lift New York to a 102-92 win.

He went on to score 10 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the floor in the 98-96 win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday as the Knicks extended their winning streak to five games.

The reigning Sixth Man of the Year admitted that he had learned not to “goof around” given the position that he is in, although that may not be enough to secure his future in the Big Apple.

Speculation suggests that the Knicks have started to explore the option of trading him, with Smith himself admitting that he was unsure over his future, but it would be difficult for them to do so given his problems and contract.

Nevertheless, with Woodson now addressing the situation, Smith will be optimistic that he will be given another chance to prove himself while also looking to avoid any further incidents either on or off the court.

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