Carmelo Anthony was 5 for 20 from the field in the Knicks’ 110-99 loss at Brooklyn Friday night, but let’s concentrate on the most important stat of the evening ; JR Smith didn’t punch anyone in the groin. And even if he did, who are you or I to call it a deliberate act? Smith tells Newsday’s Al Iannazzone that Tuesday’s televised assault on Glen Rice Jr. Tuesday was no big deal (“was he bleeding or something or what?”) :
“I don’t think it’s something that anybody saw that I was deliberate about it,” Smith said Friday. “They did. Just got to take it for what it is.”
NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn told The Associated Press that Smith’s reputation had nothing to do with his suspension.
Smith contends he did nothing wrong, and didn’t know what had happened to Rice Jr., who was on the floor for a while. A foul was called on Rice Jr. on the play.
“I was trying to clear space to get as close to the basket as I could to get the shot off,” Smith said. “It definitely wasn’t anything intentional.
“I seen him on the floor. I was trying to figure out what happened. The ref didn’t call it. The ref called a foul on him. I didn’t really see what happened.”