Long-simmering tensions from the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals between Boston and Cleveland have gotten two players fined.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith got a $15,000 fine for initiating a scuffle with the Celtics by getting tangled up with Aron Baynes during Saturday’s preseason game. Boston’s Marcus Smart, who was ejected from the game, got the larger $25,000 fine for pushing Smith from behind and escalating the fracas.
Marcus Smart, JR Smith fined pic.twitter.com/R6hjGK2bm6
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) October 8, 2018
The scuffle led to an off-court war of words between Smart and Smith, but the NBA appears to be done with them for the moment.
Smart and Smith have bad blood dating back to the Eastern Conference Finals, so it is perhaps no surprise that they got tangled up, even if it was just a preseason game. Boston’s first meeting of the season with Cleveland comes on Nov. 30 at home, which may be a game worth watching.
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JR Smith says the NBA is threatening to fine him over one of his tattoos.
Smith has long been known for having his body covered in tattoos, but he added an even more noticeable one over the summer. Smith got the Supreme logo tattooed on the back of his leg. Smith says that tattoo has the league’s attention.
The Cleveland Cavaliers guard posted on Instagram Saturday that the NBA is threatening to fine him if he does not cover up his tattoo during games.
“These people in the league office are something else!” Smith wrote.
JR Smith says the NBA will fine him every game he doesn’t cover his Supreme leg tattoo pic.twitter.com/juUVCK2PwH
— Master (@MasterTes) September 29, 2018
As ridiculous as the entire matter sounds, the league does have some basis for making the threat. The NBA has a deal with Nike to be their apparel provider. Supreme is a competing apparel brand. However, it’s not like Smith is wearing the tattoo as an apparel accessory to his uniform; it’s inked onto his body as a tattoo he chose, and one he says he was not compensated for.
Smith might have a case if he wanted to fight any fines in court.
JR Smith celebrating with no shirt on has become a symbol of success for sports in Cleveland, so it should come as no surprise that the Cavaliers swingman was part of the festivities at FirstEnergy Stadium on Thursday night.
During the Browns’ comeback win over the New York Jets, Smith was spotted shirtless getting pumped up with fans.
and here we have jr smith celebrating shirtless in first energy stadium pic.twitter.com/ON9VI0Wfja
— paco (@AllaireMatt) September 21, 2018
The win was Cleveland’s first in nearly two years, so you can understand the excitement. Smith was pretty much shirtless the entire time the Cavs celebrated their NBA championship in 2016, and in many ways Thursday’s game was the Super Bowl for the Browns. The reaction was only fitting.
JR Smith is definitely having the most JR Smith of offseasons.
The Cleveland Cavaliers veteran took to Instagram on Thursday to show off some new ink, specifically a prominent “Supreme” tattoo on his right leg.
This comes just months after Smith sported a “Supreme” shooting sleeve during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers in December.
If JR Smith wasn't already the coolest player in the NBA, he is now because he's wearing a Supreme shooting sleeve pic.twitter.com/RBiWb5viCp
— Jack Morrissey (@jack_morrissey3) December 15, 2017
The 32-year-old will have some rehabbing of his image to do next season after his blunder heard around the world cost the Cavs Game 1 of the NBA Finals and possibly LeBron James as well. But so far, so bad for him, especially since Smith was also involved in a ridiculous incident earlier this week.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith is reportedly under investigation by the New York Police Department over allegedly stealing and throwing a fan’s cell phone.
Law enforcement sources told TMZ Sports that a fan in Chelsea claimed to have asked Smith for a photo upon spotting him early Sunday morning. Smith declined to take the picture, but the fan took one of him anyway.
Smith then allegedly took the $800 phone from the fan’s hand and threw it into a nearby construction zone, damaging it. A police report was filed.
While Smith has not been charged with any crime, he is being investigated and the NYPD would like to interview him.
This is not the first time Smith has been accused of wrongdoing by fans in New York, and this comes under remarkably similar circumstances.
The Houston Rockets could be going full galaxy brain in their quest to recoup some of the depth that they lost this offseason.
In an episode Tuesday of his podcast “The Lowe Post,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe revealed that Houston has “kicked the tires” on a trade for Cleveland Cavaliers swingman JR Smith, also noting that he thinks that they will get another wing.
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) August 1, 2018
The Rockets suffered in that department with the losses of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency, and Smith might be able to offer a similar 3-and-D skillset for them. However, the 32-year-old is wildly inconsistent and generally prone to lapses in judgement, so it’s worth wondering if there are better avenues for improvement. Smith is also owed $30.4 million over the next two seasons (though his salary for 2019-20 is only partially guaranteed).
The former Sixth Man of the Year does have a rather rich history of playoff experience with four Finals appearances and a championship to his name. But the negatives probably outweigh the positives with Smith, especially with the Rockets’ expected addition of his former teammate Carmelo Anthony. That will probably just remind Smith of a time that he would rather forget.
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The Cleveland Cavaliers had as good of an opportunity as they could have asked for to steal a game from the Golden State Warriors to begin the NBA Finals, but JR Smith had other plans. Kevin Durant believes it was at that moment that his team won another title.
Durant was a guest on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” this week, and he was asked point blank if he knew the series was over after Smith’s unprecedented mistake. He hesitated for a moment before admitting, “Yeah, I did.”
“We had a good feeling,” Durant said. “We knew we had to play well, but we knew we kind of broke them a little bit with that one.”
Kimmel also asked Durant if he felt any sympathy for Smith after Smith made such a boneheaded play.
“I’m happy that he made that decision to do that, especially with the game on the line,” Durant said with a smile. “We needed that win for the sweep.”
Smith’s lack of awareness in a tie game could not have been more costly for the Cavs. In addition to costing them a potential win in Game 1, it also indirectly led to LeBron James’ hand injury. Fans had a strong feeling the series was over after that happened, so it’s no surprise the Warriors felt the same way.