(NEW YORK) — The NBA has suspended New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith five games without pay for violation of the league’s Anti-Drug Program.
The 27-year-old Smith is recovering from offseason knee surgery and might not be ready for the start of the regular season. The NBA says that Smith’s suspension will begin with the first game of the season for which he is eligible and physically able to play.
The Knicks re-signed Smith for three years and $18 million in July. He underwent patellar tendon surgery and an arthroscopy for a tear in the lateral meniscus of his left knee. He could miss anywhere from two to six weeks of the regular season.
Smith averaged 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last season, winning the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN