A Synopsis of Every Version of JR Smith Throughout His Career
By: Bogart Lipe
Note: Productivity based on JR Smith's capability, not relative to other players. Foolishness is based on a straight scale. Both rated from 1-10 with 10 being the maximum.
Productivity stats : 21.7 MPG, 9.2 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 1.5 APG, 39.4% shooting, 11.5 PER
Foolishness stats : None notable
Productivity rating : 4
Foolishness rating : 1
As a young player, JR did a solid job. Not much foolishness involved so we'll get through this quickly and to the interesting parts.
Denver Nuggets (2006-2011)
Productivity stats : 24.7 MPG, 13.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.2 APG, 43.8% shooting, 16.3 PER
Foolishness stats :
December 16, 2006 : Incites a brawl after getting hit hard on a foul. "Inciting a brawl" in this instance included Smith putting the beloved Nate Robinson in a headlock and tackling him into photographers. 10 game suspension.
February 7, 2007 : JR crashes Carmelo Anthony's car as the two are riding together because for some godforsaken reason Melo thought it was a good idea to let JR drive his car. Both miss shootaround as a result.
June 9, 2007 : A much more serious case, as Smith ran a stop sign, collided with another vehicle and flipped over. His friend, one of the passengers, died a few days later from injuries he sustained. It is revealed Smith racked up 27 points on his license from April 2005 to January 2006, according to USA Today. Smith was sentenced to 24 days of jail time and agreed to partake in 500 hours of community service. 7 game suspension from NBA.
October 7, 2007 : Smith involved in a fight outside Denver nightclub. 3 game suspension from the Nuggets.
August 5, 2009 : After serving his jail sentence, he began changing the letter "C" to "K" in his tweets, sparking talk that JR was/became a member of the Bloods gang. His account was deleted shortly thereafter.
February 2, 2011 : Hits Raja Bell (official thief of the bell rung for Ben Wallace) forcefully with a cheap shot to the delight of many NBA fans across the country. Results in a scuffle, flagrant foul and a $25,000 fine from the NBA.
Productivity rating : 6
Foolishness rating : 9.5
This was the beginning of the JR Smith lovable circus and the most trouble he got into. He lived in Colorado just about 7-8 years too early, which I have to imagine makes him regretful.
Note: the 2009 Nuggets had a roster including JR, Kenyon Martin, Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, Nene, and Chris “Birdman” Anderson. Those are all top 50 guys I want on my team in a street fight in the history of the sport (besides Melo of course). Also imagine how much money exchanged hands in poker games between JR, K-Mart, and AI. Throw in Barkley and it is Pay-Per-View material. Also imagine a championship parade with those guys. JR put on for them eventually though (we’ll get to this later).
New York Knicks (2011-2015)
Productivity stats : 31.4 MPG, 15.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.8 APG, 41.6% shooting, 15.4 PER (2013 NBA Sixth Man Award)
Foolishness stats :
March 2012 : JR posts an inappropriate picture of a woman on Twitter who was previously involved with Joe Budden. The NBA fines him $25,000. JR takes his first major Twitter L.
2012 : During the lockout Smith played in China, where it is rumored he accumulated over $1 million in fines.
January 26, 2013 : The Legend of JR. In a leaked DM, JR asks a female fan (who was a senior in high school at the time) if she is....you may want to sit down......"trying to get the pipe?" An amazing and fiery Twitter storm ensues, with this tweet still living in infamy and the Hall of Fame of DM screenshots. JR takes his second major Twitter L, which feels more like 100.
P.S. He went 0-8 from the field that night. But credit to him for Shooting His Shot.
September 2013 : To the surprise of nobody, JR is suspended 5 games for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy. I'll refrain from making more jokes and kicking a man when he's down. Or up. High up. In the clouds. Moving on.
November 2013 : Fined $25,000 for getting in a Twitter argument with Brandon Jennings (before Twitter arguments mattered even a little bit) after Jennings tweeted questioning why Smith's brother was in the league but others weren't. Third strike in Twitter L's because messing with Brandon Jennings is asking for trouble.
January 2014 : After instances of JR untying opponents shoelaces, the NBA fined him $50,000, which must be the most ridiculous thing a fine has been handed down for in the NBA. Big props to JR for having that NBA Fines championship belt to himself.
Productivity rating : 6.5
Foolishness rating : 8
Sixth Man of the Year vaults an otherwise disappointing Knicks campaign to a 6.5. Would have a higher foolishness rating but not as many suspensions and brawls as during his Nuggets time. But the combination of posting a woman's behind on Twitter, asking a girl if she wants to get a hold of his manhood, and untying other players' shoelaces is too spectacular to overlook. Also, Brandon Jennings is the last person you mention on Twitter, and for that the fool rating also suffers.
Pre-Championship Cleveland Cavaliers (2015-2016)
Productivity stats : 31.1 MPG, 12.5 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.0 APG, 41.9% shooting, 13.2 PER
Foolishness Stats :
November 2015 : JR alleged to have choked a 19 year old after getting heckled at a pizza shop. Smith and his attorney denied the claim.
Productivity rating : 7.5
Foolishness rating : 2.5
LeBron was able to help contain Wild JR during this stint, but not for long.
Post-Championship Cleveland Cavaliers (2016-2017)
Productivity stats : No shirt for days on end, 30+ bottles of Hennessy consumed, one woman drenched in champagne at a club, and endless dancing and smoking whatever JR smokes nowadays.
Foolishness Stats: See above.
An all-time performance by JR the days following clinching the title. A touching post-game press conference in which he cried while talking about his journey and family was the icing on the cake. Also, if you're able to get people to buy shirts of your bare chest you've done something right and need to be respected. If he ran as Lebron's VP in the election they would have gotten a majority of the Ohio vote. We’ll ignore his injury-riddled season this year because truly it wouldn’t change the ratings one bit.
Productivity rating : 11
Foolishness rating : 13
Conclusion: When forcing a line of best fit through the data points of JR’s career, we come up with a slope of 0.9726. An even proportion of foolishness and productivity would have resulted in a slope of 1. Thus, theoretically speaking, throughout Smith’s overall career his productivity has not outweighed his foolishness, although it does come close. However, I will throw my own results out of the window, as JR’s post championship performance was one for the ages and will not be overlooked. After signing a 4 year/$57 million deal in the offseason, JR now enters the playoffs knowing he’ll have a contract next year. Last year he didn’t have that luxury and he STILL did everything he did. I can’t even imagine what would be in store if the Cavs repeated.
Never change, JR. Never change.