ESPNApparently, the party’s over for New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith. Smith is off to one of the best starts of his nine-year NBA career and on Thursday he cited a cutback in nightlife as one of the key reasons for his success. ”I’m not going to lie. The New York City nightlife pretty much got to me. I was going out pretty much every other night and not focused on the task at hand,” a candid Smith told reporters in San Antonio after the Knicks’ morning shootaround. Smith said that a new, disciplined approach to practice has helped his performance for the 6-0 Knicks. ”He’s so locked in and focused this year,” Tyson Chandler said recently. “He’s a different player. He’s really matured and he’s really buying into what coach is preaching, and it’s been a big help.” ”Every day I’m getting into the gym, getting in as much work as I can. A lot of times previously in my career, I had negative energy coming into the gym, not wanting to be there, joking around, goofing off. This year, it’s been more serious. I understand every road trip we take is a work trip, not just a play trip. You come and work hard. If I work hard, maybe the next guy will see me work hard.”

I think there comes a point in every guys career where you finally wake up. Finally the light bulb goes off and you have that epiphany and change what you’re doing. How many more times does JR Smith wanna have another mediocre season? How many more fat assed black chicks can he fuck? How many more clubs can you go to? How many more nights can you party? Now don’t get me wrong, every red blooded male can do A LOT of those things. But at some point you have to reach your fill of those things. I don’t know if its a product of being around so many established veterans now. Not sure if its something Mike Woodson has brought out of him. Maybe its just a personal realization. But so far in the early going there is a clear difference between this JR Smith and the JR Smith of old.

I mean I give it about 2 more weeks before he’s banging some broad and tweeting about it  or fighting a rapper in a club or something else very JR Smith-esque. But for right now he looks like a new man.

PS – I think to some extent we’re seeing that from Carmelo Anthony on the court as well. How many more years in a row does Carmelo wanna finish in the top 3 or 5 in scoring and get bounced in the first round? How many more years can he just worry about “getting his?” So far this season Carmelo is playing like a dude who realizes he’s already proved himself as an elite scorer and offensive player and he wants to finally prove himself in the other areas of the game. So far so good.