NEW YORK CITY - New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith was fined US$25,000 (S$31,000) by the NBA after making threats on his Twitter page against Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings.
NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said the fine was imposed "for directing hostile and inappropriate language to another player via his Twitter account, in violation of NBA rules".
Smith, last season's NBA Sixth Man of the Year as the league's top player off the bench, came to the defence of his younger brother, Knicks teammate Chris Smith, after Jennings questioned in a Twitter posting whether or not Chris Smith belonged on an NBA roster.
Jennings said Eugene Jeter, a guard who qualifies for Ukraine internationally and is the brother of US track star Carmelita Jeter, and Bobby Brown, a guard playing for China's Dongguan Leopards, deserved to be on the roster ahead of Smith.
"Wait wait wait JR smith brother is in the NBA but PoohJeter & BBROWNLAU isn't," Jennings tweeted. "Call me hater but not Rollin!!!"
The tweet was later deleted.
J.R. Smith then reportedly posted an e-mail saying that he might call "street homies an put Detroit on smash for a min! #DeadSerious."
Smith followed with a posting that said, "No respect for these lil kids who pop at the mouth on twitter an then want to delete they tweets! #GrowUp! #ManUp!"
Smith later said he did not intend to threaten Jennings with his tweets.