Nuggets fans know J.R. Smith as the happy-go-lucky prodigy who's sure his every shot will find nylon whether he's in the paint, beyond the arc or in the arena parking lot. But today, he's facing a prospect capable of wiping the smile off anyone's face: a jail sentence.
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Smith is due in a New Jersey courtroom in connection with a June 2007 crash that led to the death of his friend, Andre Bell. According to the Star-Ledger newspaper, Wanda Bell, Andre's mother, isn't lobbying for criminal prosecution, although she's continuing a civil suit against Smith in part because of her contention that he "has not reformed his dangerous driving habits." Nevertheless, Smith still must deal with charges stemming from the incident, during which he ran a stop sign. He's expected to plead guilty to a motor-vehicle violation of some sort, and while that probably means probation (his license has already been suspended), a reckless-driving conviction could earn him forty days in the Monmouth County Jail. That's the kind of court action he'd no doubt like to avoid.