An open-and-shut case of alleged assault perpetrated by the Denver Nuggets’ JR Smith, which warranted brief mention yesterday, is apparently now much more serious.
The Denver Post reports that the Denver Police Department has reopened an investigation into the circumstances around Smith allegedly choking a non-NBA player during a pickup game at the Pepsi Center practice court August 13.
Police originally told AOL Fanhouse the Denver District Attorney’s office had decided not to pursue charges. But after the report was released, the police department changed its approach, saying, “Additional information has come forward.”
Nuggets brass says the team won’t comment or take any action until the legal matter is resolved, but this can’t be good for Smith, considering the Nuggets are reportedly trying to trade him. Multiple reports—including one from ESPN—suggest that the Nuggets want to find the right trading partner to jettison the 24-year-old player, who is known as much for high-scoring streaks as wrongheaded plays.
Apparently, Smith has ruffled the feathers of many team executives for years, including coach George Karl, but he was under the protection of Mark Warkentien, one of the team’s former vice presidents of basketball operations. Warkentien’s firing earlier this summer clears the way for the team to dump Smith and his headaches, and his tenure in Denver is likely to be coming to an end.