The Knicks coach continued his spiel to Smith that he needs to be more professional “on and off the court,’’ even taking on the fashion statement the guard makes.
Woodson had a talk with Smith after Wednesday’s practice in the wake of his ejection with 10.7 seconds left at Indiana on Tuesday for throwing down Leandro Barbosa.
“I told him I’m going to continue to coach him as long as I’m coaching the team,’’ Woodson said. “I told him I’m not going to let him off the hook. I want his shorts pulled up. I want him to look presentable. Be a professional. That’s what it’s all about.
“On the floor, I expect him to be more professional. I want him to be a pro. That’s my job as a coach. I’ve dealt with so many young players over the years. That’s one thing you got to teach some of them. It’s not just playing on the floor. It’s how you present yourself off the floor as well.’’
In following the fashion trend for youthful hip-hop fans, Smith likes to wear his pants around the hips, exposing his underwear, in what has been termed as “sagging.’’ He was seen leaving the locker room Thursday night after his big 15-point, nine-assist outing with his jeans hung low.
Woodson also said his lecture to Smith centered on his poor body language on the court when things are going badly.
“On the floor I want him to be happy when he’s playing, feel good about himself,” Woodson said. “When things go bad, I don’t want that look on his face that the world is coming down on him. We make mistakes and we miss shots. It’s OK.’’
Thursday night, Smith didn’t miss many.
A source familiar with the situation said Amar’e Stoudemire won’t be ready for the big showdown in Milwaukee on Wednesday. That would be the two-week mark of the 2-to-4 week timetable for his return from a bulging disk.
Indications are Stoudemire is eyeing the Miami game April 15. Stoudemire broke his promise and didn’t speak to the media Thursday morning after doing his back exercises.
He seemed in a less jovial mood than in Indiana on Tuesday, which was the indication he doesn’t seem that close. Stoudemire received his epidural steroid injection shot for his bulging disk last Thursday.
“I’ll keep you posted,’’ said Stoudemire, who hasn’t spoken since the night he injured his back 12 days ago.
Before Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said Dwight Howard wants him fired, he caused another ripple when he stated the Knicks are “a far better defensive team’’ without Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin.
“They’re better defensively in my mind,’’ Van Gundy said. “The thing that’s helped them defensively, is Carmelo [ Anthony ] is playing real, real hard but they got [ Iman ] Shumpert back in the lineup. That’s been a big part of that. And Baron Davis is probably a better defender than Jeremy Lin at this point. What’s happened is their injuries have made them a far better defensive team.”
Davis, suffering now from a sore left knee, said he plans to play next season and not retire. … Jared Jeffries (knee) expects to be back Sunday, as does Bill Walker (elbow).
Mike Woodson, J.R. Smith, Smith, AmarвЂ™e Stoudemire, Stoudemire