J.R. Smith wishes league had 'sense of humor'

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks guard said his shoelace saga has become a "distraction to the team."

New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith said he wishes people had a "sense of humor" in regards to the shoelace incident and that he doesn't know when he'll play next for the Knicksaccording to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

Smith said he had been doing the shoelace trick -- in which he unties opponents' shoelaces at the free throw line -- for four or five years and has "only seen it from the joking side."

New York head coach Mike Woodson wouldn't talk about Smith, but Smith, himself, was willing to talk, via Berman:

"He’s been telling me [to grow up] since I got here,’’ Smith said. "Honestly, growing up, I really don’t understand the true meaning of it. I’ve been misunderstood my whole life. It’s not going to change now.’’

Smith was warned by the league after untying Shawn Marion's shoe last Sunday while Dirk Nowitzki was shooting-free throws. He seemingly mocked the league and Woodson by trying the stunt again on Tuesday night against Greg Monroe, although Monroe pulled his foot away in time. Smith was then fined $50,000 by the NBA.

He was benched Thursday night against the Heat in a 102-92 Knicks win. The team has won four of its last five games with the first of this streak coming in San Antonio.

After winning the league's Sixth Man of the Year award last season, Smith has mostly struggled this year. His per game scoring is down from 18.1 to 11.3 and he's shooting a career-worst 34.8 percent from the field. His three-point shooting (33.9 percent) is the lowest in four years and his free-throw shooting (62.8 percent) is the worst of his career.

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