JR Smith might be back at work again.
Per ESPN, the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to sign Smith to replace Avery Bradley in time for the league’s restart. Smith’s agent Rich Paul and Lakers president of operations Rob Pelinka were reportedly discussing an agreement on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Avery Bradley will be opting out of the season’s restart due to personal reasons. This puts the Lakers, the top seed in the Western Conference, without a starting point guard.
The 34-year-old Smith hasn’t played an NBA game in two years, last playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018. The 15-year veteran was drafted by the New Orleans Hornets out of high school in 2004, and he has also played for the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets.
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Smith won a league championship with the Cavaliers in 2016 alongside LeBron James.
He was also awarded Second Team Parade All-American in 2004 and was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2013.
After becoming an NBA champion on #FathersDay in 2016, JR Smith delivered this message.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 21, 2020
Smith has had an interesting hiatus, to say the least.
On May 31st 2020, Smith was caught on video physically assaulting another man. The incident allegedly happened during a George Floyd protest, where the man had broken Smith’s truck window using his skateboard.
The 225-pound Smith viciously kicked the man before his friends stepped in, scaring the man off. “I chased him down and whooped his ass,” Smith said. “. . . didn’t know where he was going and broke my f**king window in my truck.”
TMZ makes it clear that Smith’s beating was not a result of racial or hateful causes. It only happened because of the man’s involvement with JR’s truck. Video obtained by the website clearly shows Smith delivering blows to the man with both hands and feet.
In December 2019, it was reported that Smith had been in an extramarital relationship with actress Candice Patton. Smith and his wife Jewel had made public statements on social media regarding the cheating accusations. JR and Jewel have been married since 2016.
Smith admitted in December that he had been struggling since splitting with his wife. “It a one of the hardest Christmas’s I’ve had but we still pushing,!” Smith said on Instagram. The couple shares three children together.
Jewel offered her own comments on social media. “Clearly there is a lot going on. . . it’s a battle, hurdle to jump over … out there in the public.” LeBron James and his wife Savannah had offered their supports in the comments.
On January 21, 2020, it was reported that Smith and his wife had reconciled.
This past April, Smith also had words to say regarding his relationship with Hennessy.
“I don’t even drink Henny, bro. It’s not my s**t, bro,” Smith said. “Nah, I never drank it before, though. Even before that. The funny thing is, the picture that everybody talks about of me drinking Henny, it’s a champagne bottle. So, I don’t even know how that even came about.”
Smith’s supposed obsession with the alcoholic drink has come up various times in the past few years. Due to his off-court antics and love of partying, Smith earned the nickname “Henny God.” His reiterance of his disgust for the drink only makes Smith’s situation more charming.
Naw go play wit kids https://t.co/BNqDLjWukh
— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) June 24, 2020
On March 28, 2020, Smith called President Trump a f***ing clown for his handling of the pandemic. His words were in response to one of Trump’s countless tweets bashing the media. Smith isn’t the only NBA player critical of Trump, as both the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors skipped the traditional White House visit following their championship wins.
The NBA needs personality and life back. JR Smith is a fan favorite who has been having a hectic couple of years since he last played in the league. America has been under much duress lately, and the NBA’s return is one positive sign in a tough few months.
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Smith’s return would breathe fresh life into a league that will be playing without fans.
We can only hope that Smith’s return will come soon with LA, and we cannot wait to see him rejoin another powerhouse team for the chance at another title.