Pop star Rihanna ‘clubs’ J.R. Smith

New York Knicks sixth man J.R. Smith has been struggling in the
playoffs, to the point where
he’s blaming himself for his team’s
second-round woes against the Indiana Pacers.

But if an Instagram comment
Thursday by R&B singer Rihanna
is to be believed, there
could be a simple explanation for why Smith is stuck in such a rut
on the court: He may be spending too much time in the club.

On Thursday, Rihanna, who was rumored to be dating Smith last
year and was spotted with Smith
at a SoHo club last week, posted
photo of herself
for her 7.4 million Instagram followers. Then
in the comments, she
reportedly responded to a user named

has since deleted his account
— with the following
profanity-laced message:

We’ll let you fill in the blanks, but it’s assumed
that the hoops star in question is Smith — a player for whom
partying has been an issue, both recently
and in the past. After New York’s Game 1
loss to Indiana at home, Smith, himself, took to Twitter to address
rumors that he had been out at a club the night before his 4-for-15
shooting performance:

However, after New York’s Game 2 win — Smith was
3-for-15 in that one — the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year
was spotted at another NYC nightclub with Rihanna, who was in town
for a concert at Barclays Center in Brooklyn:

Smith responded after Thursday’s Game 5 win, saying “I’m not
worried about Instagram, I’m worried about the playoffs.” But
whatever Smith’s routine has been lately, he ought to shake
it up: He’s 30-for-102 in his past seven games, and despite
Thursday’s 85-75 win (in which Smith scored 13 points on 4-for-11
shooting), the Knicks still are one game from elimination.