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J.R. Smith has advice for fellow NBA players who enjoy the late-night club scene

Cleveland Cavaliers v Milwaukee Bucks

Cleveland Cavaliers v Milwaukee Bucks

NBAE/Getty Images

J.R. Smith was never shy about his love of the club scene while playing for the New York Knicks.

He’s admitted that the change of playing in small-market Cleveland is a better situation for him because of the lack of late-night options, and Smith may be among the more qualified in the league to give fellow players advice on how to handle themselves when going out, given his extensive experience.

In discussing the incident where Chris Copeland was stabbed outside a club in New York earlier this week, Smith explained that while Copeland certainly isn’t to blame for what happened, he may have broken one of Smith’s “cardinal rules.”

From Dave McMenamin of

“For me, I feel like a target every time,” Smith said after Cavs shootaround Friday in advance of their game with the Boston Celtics. “So, I try to handle myself with care when I’m out and about. It’s one of those situations when you’re out at 4 in the morning -- I’m not saying it’s [Copeland’s] fault by any means -- but when you’re out at 4 in the morning, there’s no way you should be walking anywhere. Get in your car and go home or go wherever you’re going. That’s one of my cardinal rules. You don’t just stand outside of the events like that. You just get in and go and keep it moving.”

Copeland unnecessarily apologized for being out so late, but that wasn’t the issue; players on every team in the league frequently do the same.

But how they handle themselves in terms of being aware of their surroundings and the potential for trouble can always be improved upon, so in that regard, everyone should be willing to heed Smith’s advice.

MORE: CSNNE subscriber? Watch Cavaliers-Celtics Sunday at 3:00 p.m. ET