J.R. Smith Suspended by NBA for Violating League's Substance Abuse Policy

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2013

J.R. Smith is no stranger to controversy, but he appears to be in even more trouble than usual after violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported that the New York Knicks guard will be suspended for five games:

J.R. Smith is expected to be suspended five games for violating the drug policy, the Daily News has learned

— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) September 6, 2013

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports confirmed the news as well, reporting that the veteran tested positive for marijuana. 

Smith is coming off the best year of his career when he averaged 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a secondary scorer on the Knicks. His solid play helped the team finish second in the Eastern Conference behind only the Miami Heat.

As a result, New York signed him to a two-year extension worth $11 million with a player option for a third season. Interestingly, Isola also reports that he has already received $8.974 million of the money.

Unfortunately, Smith needed surgery in July that will sideline him 12-16 weeks from when it happened, according to Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

J.R. Smith had patella tendon surgery & arthroscopy for a tear in the lateral meniscus, of his left knee, at the HSS in NYC, #Knicks say.

— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) July 15, 2013

Recovery time for JR Smith is approximately 12-16 weeks, #Knicks say.

— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) July 15, 2013

This could keep him out for the start of the season, while the suspension will only add more time that he will be off the court, as Howard Beck of The New York Times noted.

Despite Smith's obvious talent, his antics on and off the court have held him back in his career. He hurt the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs when he was suspended for Game 4 due to a blatant elbow against Jason Terry. 

The latest failed drug test is certain to further damage his image as he looks to continue a long career in the NBA.


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