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#pounditFriday, December 3, 2021

JR Smith was ‘petrified’ about trade to Cavs, had nowhere to party

JR Smith

J.R. Smith has a reputation for enjoying a good time, which is why playing in New York was both the best and worst thing in the world for him. But it was a lifestyle Smith grew accustomed to in his three years with the Knicks, and he was terrified of giving it up.

In an entertaining feature from Devin Friedman of GQ Magazine, Smith described how he felt the day he learned he had been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“Honestly? I was petrified,” Smith said. “Seriously. I didn’t know what to expect. I thought: The weather is gonna be horrible. There’s going to be nowhere to go out to eat. There’s going to be nowhere to party.”

While you can find nightlife wherever you go if you know where to look, Cleveland certainly isn’t The Big Apple. And as far as Smith is concerned, it doesn’t have to be. Now that he plays for a championship contender, he says the focus is solely on winning.

“You would never go out and party on this team,” he told Friedman, noting that he loves the city of Cleveland. “Once you’re on a team like this, you’re just so locked in. When you see someone like LeBron in the gym around the clock? Usually it’s the guys who want to get better so they can get more playing time who are always in the gym. But if you’ve got four MVPs, two championships, two Finals MVPs…”

Smith has admitted in the past that playing in Cleveland is better for his career because the temptation to go out partying isn’t nearly as great. We know one celebrity who can certainly attest to that.

The Cavs need Smith, who is averaging 11.1 points per game, to play a big role for them when the playoffs come around. Cleveland is clearly a better environment for staying focused.


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