NBA - Knicks' Smith banned five games for drug violation

New York Knicks guard JR Smith has been suspended for five games for violating the National Basketball Association's (NBA) anti-drug program, the league said on Friday.

Smith, who won the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award last season for his play off the bench, is recovering from off-season knee surgery and may not be fit for his team's season opener on Oct. 30.

His suspension will begin with the first game of the 2013-14 NBA season for which he is eligible and physically able to play, the league said in a statement.

Taken with the 18th overall pick by New Orleans in the 2004 draft, Smith recorded career-highs in points (18.1) and rebounds (5.3) last season.

He signed a three-year $17.9 million (£11.5m) deal with the Knicks in July.