New York Knicks guard JR Smith admitted today that he spent a little too much time in the club last season. Smith says the over-partying is behind him, and it’s obvious in his vastly improved play so far this season. Hilariously, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson says that by wearing less sloppy-looking jeans, Smith is proving that he has matured. Per the NY Post: “J.R. Smith, in responding to Knicks coach Mike Woodson’s remarks that he has become ‘more professional’ this season, candidly admitted he partied too much last season, swept away by Manhattan’s bright lights. ‘I’m not going to lie,’ Smith said. ‘The New York City nightlife pretty much got to me. I was going out pretty much every other night and not focused on the task at hand.’ Smith, on a scoring tear averaging 18.2 points per game while hitting 13 of 18 3-pointers, said he’s more focused at practice when he used to not take it seriously. He came to the Knicks last season after a rocky stint in China, bearing that flaky reputation. (The Post reported last June he sued his Chinese team, Zhejiang Chouzhou $1.07M for docking his pay for allegedly missing 80 practices and shootarounds). ‘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.’ Asked if he didn’t take practice seriously enough, Smith said, ‘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.’ Woodson said last season he wanted Smith to become more professional regarding his wardrobe and other matters. Woodson said Wednesday that Smith has changed, citing an increased focus and wearing suits to games instead of sagging jeans.”
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