NY Knicks guard JR Smith, is playing some of the best overall basketball of his career, and he has his personal self-control to thank. Normally known for having incredible talent, but being immature and inconsistent, it seems Smith is ready to embrace being a professional in New York. Read more after the jump.

“I’m not going to lie. The New York City nightlife pretty much got to me. I was going out pretty much every other night and not focused on the task at hand,” a candid Smith told reporters in San Antonio after the Knicks’ morning shootaround.

Said Smith: “Every day I’m getting into the gym, getting in as much work as I can. A lot of times previously in my career, I had negative energy coming into the gym, not wanting to be there, joking around, goofing off. This year, it’s been more serious. I understand every road trip we take is a work trip, not just a play trip. You come and work hard. If I work hard, maybe the next guy will see me work hard.”

His teammates have also noticed the change. Tyson Chandler said:

He’s so locked in and focused this year, He’s a different player. He’s really matured and he’s really buying into what coach is preaching, and it’s been a big help.”

As a Knicks fan, I can only hope this new found level of maturity and focus is here to stay for Smith.