Free agency began last night in the National Basketball Association, and Nuggets fans will undoubtedly be thinking about what their team will do to improve on the court. Can they re-sign Chris Andersen? Will they attract a free-agent scorer like Grant Hill? How far over into the luxury tax is owner Stan Kroenke willing to go? All legitimate questions, but a couple of big ones remains about J.R. Smith, who spent yesterday in a different kind of court.
Smith was sentenced to 90 days in jail yesterday, with 60 days suspended, for causing a car crash that killed his friend (via The Denver Post). Smith drove his SUV through a stop sign in his native New Jersey in June 2007, colliding with another car in the process. Andre Bell, one of Smith’s best friends and a passenger in the car, later died from the injuries. The Associated Press notes that Bell’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Smith.
So, how will Smith’s 30-day jail sentence impact him? Will the NBA choose to suspend him heading into next year? It’s hard not to be frustrated with Smith, who shows so much potential on the basketball court, but more often acts like the poster child for spoiled, over-privileged athletes, who seem to always find ways to shoot themselves in the foot.