Report: JR Smith was upset about being benched, insubordinate
Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith was suspended by the team for Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, and now more details are beginning to emerge about what led to the punishment.
Veteran ESPN commentator Alvaro Martin reported that the former Sixth Man of the Year was upset to learn that Rodney Hood would take his position in the starting lineup and proceeded to go AWOL from a team function.
ESPN: @Cavs suspend @TheRealJRSmith for one game for conduct detrimental to the team. JR found out @RodneyHood would take his spot in the starting lineup and he went AWOL from a team activity. The stunt will cost him $94,897.
— Alvaro Martin (@AlvaroNBAMartin) March 2, 2018
TNT’s Marv Albert also mentioned during the national broadcast of the Cavs-Sixers game that Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue had revealed that Smith was suspended for “insubordination.” In addition, the incident in question was said to be team-related and not having to do with anything off the court.
The 32-year-old Smith has struggled this season with 8.3 points per game on sub-40 percent shooting but has still made 56 starts for the Cavs. With a more versatile and productive option on the wing now in Hood though, it’s hard to blame the team for wanting to try something new, in spite of Smith’s protests.