NBA - Knicks' Smith banned five games for drug violation

New York Knicks guard JR Smith has been suspended for five games for violating the National Basketball Association's (NBA) anti-drug program, the league said on Friday.

NBA - Knicks' Smith banned five games for drug violation

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New York Knicks' J.R. Smith celebrates after sinking a three point basket at the buzzer at the end of the first quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of their NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff series in New York, April 23, 2013 (Reuters)

Smith, who won the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award last season for his play off the bench, is recovering from off-season knee surgery and may not be fit for his team's season opener on Oct. 30.

His suspension will begin with the first game of the 2013-14 NBA season for which he is eligible and physically able to play, the league said in a statement.

Taken with the 18th overall pick by New Orleans in the 2004 draft, Smith recorded career-highs in points (18.1) and rebounds (5.3) last season.

He signed a three-year $17.9 million (£11.5m) deal with the Knicks in July.

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