New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith says he partied too much last season.
“I’m not going to lie, the New York City nightlife pretty much got to me,” Smith said via the New York Post Thursday morning before scoring 17 points to help the knicks defeat the Spurs 104-100.. “I was going out pretty much every other night and not focused on the task at hand.”
Smith added that he didnt take practice serious, saying: “I thought I could get by on talent a lot more than I thought. I’m trying to think the game, taking my time, slowing it down. So far it’s been working. I’m trying to stick with it as much as I can.’’
Smith is averaging 18.0 points per game this season.
“Every day I’m getting into the gym, getting in as much work as I can,’’ Smith said. “A lot of times previously in my career, I had negative energy coming into the gym, not wanting to be there, joking around, goofing off. This year, it’s been more serious. I understand every road trip we take is a work trip, not just a play trip. You come and work hard. If I work hard, maybe the next guy will see me work hard."
Carmelo Anthony is happy Smith is maturing. Melo didn't think adding Smith to the Knicks roster was a good idea when it happend
“It’s night and day off the court,’’ Anthony said. “Just being maturing and growing up. Willing to lock in and focus in, it carries over to the basketball court. His commitment and focus level, I haven’t seen that.’’
Smith said he's serious about being professional on and off the court.
“My thing is being professional 24 hours a day — 24 hours a day, seven days a week,’’ Smith said. “I can’t let myself slip as well as my teammates slip. In order for me to hold them accountable, I have to hold myself accountable. I go out here and there. I definitely have to choose my spots. Definitely not before games. I’ve been smart about it.’’