New York Knicks guard JR Smith is suing Chinese team Zhejiang Chouzhou for $1,078,500 after the team withheld that amount from his salary.
Officials for the team claim that JR Smith missed almost all of the teams 80 practices which led to fines equaling the withheld salary. The team also listed four-pages worth of transgressions which led to a large chunk of Smith’s salary being left unpaid. According to the team he did not attend various pregame team meetings and randomly left for Shanghai, Beijing and the United Kingdom on practice days without telling the club.
The team had noted every single missed practice from Oct. 25, 2011 through Feb. 15, 2012.
At one point the team claims it demanded Smith send his sister Stephanie home to the US because she had become “abusive” towards the team while convincing JR Smith to missing almost all of his practices so he could take her shopping.
The team says JR Smith breached his contract and he now must answer their allegations by Monday. FIBA will ultimately rule on the complaints from both sides in the coming weeks.
Smith’s contract offered him $2.88 million to play for Zhejiang Chouzhou during the NBA lockout and the club agreed to pay all of his taxes. Smith in his complaint alleged being paid only $1.82 million, he also claims the team owes him $18,500 in bonuses based on the teams victories.
If Smith’s previous off-court behavior is examined it could hurt his chances at earning the award, he was charged in 2007 with a reckless driving accident that killed his friend Andre Bell and he has since been arrested on several occasions.
Despite his past troubles the New York Knicks are expected to resign JR Smith even if he opts out of their deal by Tuesday’s deadline and becomes a free agent starting July 1.