Cavaliers' J.R. Smith warns NBA players to be careful at clubs
"For me, I feel like a target every time. So, I try to handle myself with care when I'm out and about," Smith told ESPN.com.
"It's one of those situations when you're out at 4 in the morning—I'm not saying it's [Copeland's] fault by any means—but when you're out at 4 in the morning, there's no way you should be walking anywhere. Get in your car and go home or go wherever you're going. That's one of my cardinal rules. You don't just stand outside of the events like that."
Smith's comments come in the wake of a stabbing at New York nightclub 1 Oak early Wednesday that involved multiple NBA players.
[daily_cut.NBA]Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland was stabbed in his elbow and abdomen a result of the incident, while Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha fractured his right leg and will miss the playoffs. Hawks player Pero Antić was also involved.
Sefolosha and Antic were charged with obstructing governmental administration at the scene of the crime. Copeland is now in stable condition.
Smith, now a guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers, was known to frequent several New York clubs including 1 Oak when he was a member of the Knicks.
He praised the nightclub, telling ESPN, "It was one of my favorite places when I was there. You get to see people: The Leonardo DiCaprios, the Rihannas, the Jay Zs, Beyonces and people of that sort. So, if you don't get a chance to go to concerts and stuff like that, it's a good chance."
- Will Green