UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
NBA

Knicks' Mike Woodson: J.R. Smith must 'grow up'

Photo: Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Knicks guard J.R. Smith was suspended five games for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy.

GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) -- Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Wednesday that J.R. Smith needs to "grow up and do the right things" after the sixth man was suspended five games by the NBA for violating the anti-drug policy.

Woodson said he was disappointed in Smith's actions, but would continue to support him.

"I'm not going to throw him out to the pasture," Woodson said. "My job is to coach him and make sure something like what happened doesn't happen again. That's what we do as coaches, and I expect his teammates to show him love. But at the end of the day he's got to do the right thing by J.R. and his teammates, and me as a coach and this organization and the fans that support him. I mean, that's what it's all about.

"He's got to grow up and do the right things."

MAHONEY: Most compelling storylines in training camp

Smith has been in trouble on and off the court during his career but was credited with showing more maturity last season while winning the Sixth Man of the Year award. Then he received a one-game suspension in the playoffs for foolishly throwing an elbow into Jason Terry's face in Game 3 of a first-round series against Boston, before getting hit with the five-game ban last month.

Smith is recovering from knee surgery, and Woodson doesn't know when he will be able to return. Once the guard is healthy, he will miss his first five games. Woodson said he hopes that's a learning experience for Smith.

"You talk about missing the first five games, I'm not happy about it," Woodson said. "But hey, we know what we're facing and we've got to get through it, and we've got to make sure that he understands it's something that can't happen again."

Smith said Monday that he was disappointed that he let his teammates and coaches down. He was asked Wednesday if he thought he had something to prove after the negative publicity he has received in the last few months.

"I think every day I step into the gym I have something to prove, not to anybody else but to myself," he said. "I feel I can always get better. I have so much room for improvement, and I just want to be the best player I can be. Right now I'm not at the elite level yet."

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

More NBA

Close

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Bookmark manager.
  4. Locate your current Sports Illustrated bookmark, click the Organize menu, then select Edit. You can now easily update the web address of your Sports Illustrated bookmark.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. Click the Safari bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. This will open the Bookmarks Bar. In the Bookmarks Bar, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Address field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click the Firefox bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Show All Bookmarks.
  3. This will open the library window. In the Library window, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Location field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.
Don't Show This Again