Basketball: Knicks' Smith fined for untying rivals' shoes

NEW YORK (AFP) - Repeatedly trying to unknot the shoelaces of rival players during National Basketball Association (NBA) games has cost New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith US$50,000 (S$63,500).

The league imposed the punishment upon the 28-year-old American on Wednesday after he attempted to untie an opposing player's shoes on Tuesday during New York's 89-85 home victory over Detroit.

The NBA had already issued Smith a warning about such moves after he untied the left shoelace of Dallas forward Shawn Marion during a second quarter free throw attempt last Sunday when the Knicks beat the visiting Mavericks 92-80.

Smith was standing next to Marion awaiting a potential rebound when he reached down to make his move.

"I've never seen it done in an NBA game," Knicks coach Mike Woodson told ESPN. "You think you have seen it all and something creeps in.

"He shouldn't be doing stuff like that."

Marion laughed off the move, but he was trying to relace his shoe at the other end of the court after Smith's trick and only was able to reknot the shoelace after a foul stopped play once more.