Sunday , Oct , 21 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Should J.R. Smith & Denver Nuggets Part Ways After Suspension, San Antonio Spurs & Detroit Pistons Interested In Acquiring Troubled Guard?

For what it’s worth, Smith is also likable and talented. He once had a cult following after being featured on Rookies, a TV show that gave fans an inside look at the lives of first year players. All his teammates, particularly stars Carmelo Anthony and Marcus Camby, love him like a brother …

The Associated Press reports on the Denver Nuggets reprimanding J.R. Smith for conduct detrimental to the team:

The Denver Nuggets suspended guard J.R. Smith for the first three games of the regular season "for conduct detrimental to the team," the team said Saturday.

Nuggets player personnel director Mark Warkentien declined to specify Smith’s transgression.

"I take full responsibility for my actions that led to this suspension," Smith said in an apology distributed by the team. "I realize that the organization wants to help me become not only a better player but also the best person I can off the court.

"I apologize to my teammates, the coaching staff, my family and Nuggets fans. I promise to learn from this situation and look forward to returning shortly and being the best teammate I possibly can," Smith added.

The Associated Press did not report what Smith was suspended for. However, the Denver Post’s story mentioned that the young Nugget was involved in a nightclub incident:

According to Denver County Court records, Smith has been issued a summons to appear in court to answer to allegations of destruction of private property, disturbing the peace and assault in an incident at DC-10 lounge at 940 Lincoln on Oct. 13.

The case was filed Wednesday. Police received calls at 1:40 a.m. on Oct. 13.

"There was a disturbance and a fight and a call for an ambulance," said Lt. Ron Saunier, spokesman for the Denver Police Department.

My Quick Take: How many chances does have left? Not many-at least with the Denver . After a strong rookie campaign, the two-guard has made headlines for all the wrong reasons and has become a bit of a train-wreck.

Just look at his last twenty-four months. Smith spent his second season chained to the Hornets’ bench for alienating coach Byron Scott. After getting traded to Denver, he quickly got suspended by the NBA for his part in the infamous brawl at Madison Square Gardens. Towards the end of last year, Nuggets’ coach George Karl publicly complained about Smith’s attitude.

This summer, the New Jersey native was supposed to have grown up.  Smith was in a tragic car accident that took the life of a close friend. Clearly, he hasn’t learned from past mistakes.

For what it’s worth, Smith is also likable and talented. He even had a cult following after being featured on Rookies, a TV show that gave fans an inside look at the lives of first year players. All his current teammates, particularly stars Carmelo Anthony and Marcus Camby, love him like a brother.

And Smith can play. He has great range and a nice offensive skill-set. The Pistons and Spurs, the league’s two model franchises, have called Denver in the past to inquire about his availability.

A trade to Detroit or San Antonio might be what Smith needs. He could learn from watching true pros like Chauncey Billups and Tim Duncan, while Joe Dumars and Gregg Popovich wouldn’t tolerate his antics. Not for a second.

Hopefully, Smith gets it-and fast. The alternative is to continue on his path of self-destruction. That would be a shame, especially for a nice kid who once had the world in his hands.

Would a trade to Detroit or San Antonio help J.R. Smith get his career on track? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

Click here to read and subscribe to Oly Sandor’s NBA Blog.