BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA gave J.R. Smith a warning — and then a $50,000 fine when he ignored it.
The league penalized the New York Knicks guard again Wednesday, this time for “recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct” after he tried to untie an opponent’s sneaker for a second time in two games.
Smith untied Mavericks forward Shawn Marion’s shoe while they were standing next to each other during a free throw attempt at Dallas on Sunday and was warned not to repeat the act by the league office.
Coach Mike Woodson had said before Tuesday’s home game against Detroit that Smith shouldn’t be doing things like that, but the reserve guard then tried it again on Greg Monroe during a free throw attempt — with league disciplinarian Rod Thorn in attendance.
“I’ve always said I don’t condone things that I know you shouldn’t do and no, I’m not happy about this, because again, he was warned, he comes back and he makes the same mistake and it’s not right,” Woodson said during a radio interview with ESPN New York.
“I’m going to address it tomorrow when he comes in here for work, because it’s unacceptable, I mean it really is. I mean, it’s unprofessional. That’s the only word I can use, or two words. It’s just, you can’t do that. You just cannot do that.”
But Smith does keep doing things like that in what’s becoming an expensive season for the reigning Sixth Man of the Year.
Smith was suspended without pay for the first five games of the season, costing him about $253,000 of his $5.6 million salary, after violating terms of the league’s anti-drug program. He was then fined $25,000 in November for using hostile and inappropriate language toward the Pistons’ Brandon Jennings on his Twitter account.
Smith is shooting under 35 percent from the field and averaging 11.3 points, a drop of about seven per game from last season.
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