Byron Scott has witnessed JR Smith's maturation
Before J.R. Smith became a reserve for the Nuggets, he was a hard-headed rookie under Scott with the New Orleans Hornets. Scott laughs now at the clashes he had with Smith and compares them slightly to how he butted heads with J.J. Hickson early in the season — although Scott says Hickson wasn't as hard-headed as Smith.
''I have a lot of respect for the way he's played and how far he's come,'' Scott said. ''The biggest thing when I coached him was a lack of maturity. He was young and wanted to do it his way.''
Scott said Smith pulled him aside a couple of years ago and told him he finally understands why Scott was hard on him.
''He said 'I was hard-headed. I see everything you were trying to do as far as trying to make me a better player, I was young and dumb,' '' Scott said. ''That's what a lot of young guys do. They don't understand it and that time, but they do a few years later.''
Source: Akron Beacon Journal