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J.R. Smith: Jail bound...

The Denver Post's Benjamin Hochman is reporting that J.R. Smith has just been sentenced to 90 days in jail for causing a car accident that killed his friend in the summer of 2007. According to the article, J.R.'s sentence will likely be reduced to 30 days plus 500 hours of community service.

Not clear in the article (but maybe I'm overthinking this) is when J.R.'s sentence actually begins. For now, I'll assume it begins tonight. And even though it's probably inappropriate to discuss basketball when one man died due to J.R.'s recklessness and another - J.R. himself - is facing jail time, I'll just ask what all Nuggets fans are thinking: could this be a set back for J.R. on the court as well as off? I can't imagine 30 days in jail being good for improving upon your game in the offseason, but maybe he'll be a better person for this in the long run.

From very reliable sources, I've heard two opposite things about J.R. On the one hand, I've heard he has a severe case of "knuckleitis" and it's all but inevitable that J.R. will be involved in another incident at some point. On the other hand, I've heard that J.R. is a super nice, gracious guy who's just a bit shy but easy to talk to and takes direction well (I'm not kidding). We saw both sides of J.R. this past year as he managed to stay "incident free" for much of 2008-09 after some run-ins with coach George Karl that landed J.R. deep in the coach's doghouse at the outset of the season. For what it's worth, I've also heard from the same sources that J.R.'s parents - who sat in courtside two for a few playoff games - couldn't be any nicer, which has always made J.R.'s track record of irresponsible behavior (to say the least) so perplexing.

So while this is a disappointing night for Nuggets fans, it's an even sadder night for the Smith family and the family of Andre Bell, Smith's friend who died two Junes ago. Our thoughts should be with them tonight.

On a side note, I had a lengthy column prepared for tonight on possible offseason acquisitions. This will be delayed until tomorrow afternoon in case anything else breaks on this J.R. story.