Nuggets' Smith suspended three games to start 2007 season

DENVER -- The Denver Nuggets
suspended guard J.R. Smith for the first three games of the regular
season "for conduct detrimental to the team," the team said Saturday.

Nuggets player personnel director Mark Warkentien declined to
specify Smith's transgression.

"I take full responsibility for my actions that led to this
suspension," Smith said in an apology distributed by the team. "I
realize that the organization wants to help me become not only a
better player but also the best person I can off the court.

"I apologize to my teammates, the coaching staff, my family and
Nuggets fans. I promise to learn from this situation and look
forward to returning shortly and being the best teammate I possibly
can," Smith added.

Smith served a 10-game suspension last year for his role in a
fight with the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden and was
injured in a car crash last summer in New Jersey that killed his
friend, Andre Bell, 21.

Smith, who drew coach George Karl's ire last year for firing up
long jumpshots in the playoffs, will miss Denver's opener Oct. 31
against Seattle along with games at Minnesota on Nov. 2 and at home
against New Orleans on Nov. 4.