NBA star J.R. Smith suffers for his Twitter brilliance

The Knicks' JR Smith is in Twitter trouble again after apparently threatening the Pistons' Brandon Jennings. He is fined $25,000. But isn't there more to his Twitter account than there appears?

The man himself. A commercial artist. Alex Eccles/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Controversy seems to follow J.R. Smith almost as if he courts it.

The Knicks' guard expresses himself to his Twitter followers and suddenly the people's court finds fault.

The latest incident involves him apparently threatening the Detroit Pistons' Brandon Jennings, who is smaller than your little brother.

As The New York Times reports, Jennings took a slight Twitter dig at Smith's brother, Chris, who was signed by the Knicks when to all the world it seemed like he wasn't quite a wonderful player.

Jennings tweeted: "Wait wait wait, JR Smith's brother is in the NBA but @PoohJeter & @BBROWNLAU isn't. Call me hater but not Rollin!!!"

Smith couldn't leave this slight unsmitten. So he retaliated first with a suggestion that Jennings wasn't much of a man because he had deleted his tweet.

Smith then offered: "Might call some of my Number street homies an put #Detroit on smash for a min! #DeadSerious."

Yes, of course, we had an investigation. CBS New York reports that Smith has been fined $25,000 for his trouble.

Oh, if only he hadn't added the "DeadSerious" part.

Smith insisted this was no threat. He explained himself to the Times: "There's a way to threaten somebody, and that's not the way to publicly threaten someone."

So, no, it wasn't a dead serious threat. It was just a jokey-pokey threat.

The Knicks star then seemed to consider his own being for a moment. He told the Times: "I'm always in trouble on Twitter. I don't know what it is. Trying to shake it."

In 2009, Smith actually shook his Twitter account entirely, when he was accused of writing in a ganglike manner.

He came back, though, lured by Twitter's bright lights and big city.

Smith isn't universally appreciated in sporting circles. However, there is every reason to believe his Twitter account is actually a work of commercial art. Just like his multifarious tattoos.

Sportsmen are brands. Every tiny expression they utter is there to feed that brand and make it blossom.

The fact that Smith is having Twitter trouble is merely an artistic expression of his performance on the court. This season, he is shooting .257.

That's only slightly above the shooting percentage of the rotund people in jeans who are pulled from the crowd to make shots during half-time promotions.

His Twitter faux pas is surely a reflection of that woefulness on the court. You just can't have a .257 shooter with a perfect and righteous Twitter account. That wouldn't be consistent with the brand.

Smith knows he must foster his true nature through art. He is a commercial artist. Or, if you like, a commercial Artest. That is the very essence of social networking for the famous. You make more money that way.

I bow to the words of one of Twitter's other great sporting philosophers to explain: "If they hate then let them hate and watch the money pile up?? everyone have a blessed day from yours true."

Whose words might these be? Why, they are from the Twitter account of Chris Smith, J.R.'s very lucky brother.

 

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