J. R. Smith
Smith with the Knicks in 2013
|No. 5 – Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Position||Shooting guard / Small forward|
September 9, 1985 |
Freehold Borough, New Jersey
|Listed height||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Listed weight||225 lb (102 kg)|
(Lakewood, New Jersey)
St. Benedict's Prep
(Newark, New Jersey)
|NBA draft||2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18th overall|
|Selected by the New Orleans Hornets|
|2004–2006||New Orleans Hornets[a]|
|2011–2012||Zhejiang Golden Bulls (China)|
|2012–2015||New York Knicks|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Earl Joseph "J. R." Smith III (born September 9, 1985) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played high school basketball at New Jersey basketball powerhouse Saint Benedict's Preparatory School in Newark. Smith was recruited by the University of North Carolina but opted to enter the 2004 NBA draft. Over his career, Smith has also played for the New Orleans Hornets, Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks. Smith also played overseas for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association due to the 2011 NBA lockout.
- 1 High school career
- 2 Professional career
- 3 Career statistics
- 4 Off the court
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
High school career
Smith grew up in the Clarksburg section of Millstone Township, New Jersey, where he attended Millstone Middle School and graduated in 1999. From there, he moved on to Steinert High School and McCorristin Catholic High School before transferring to Lakewood High School. Smith played high school basketball for the first time at Lakewood High School. He later transferred to Saint Benedict's Preparatory School and played basketball there as well. During his career there, he averaged over 27 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. In the fall of 2003, Smith signed a letter of intent to play at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In April 2004, following a 25-point performance at the McDonald's All-American Game (in which he was named game co-MVP with [Dwight Howard]]), Smith decided to forgo college and declare himself eligible for the NBA draft. He was selected eighteenth overall, in the first round of the 2004 NBA draft, by the New Orleans Hornets—one of nine players who were drafted that year out of high school.
New Orleans Hornets (2004–2006)
In his rookie season with the Hornets, Smith averaged 10.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Smith participated in the Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk Competition in 2005, finishing behind Amar'e Stoudemire and the eventual winner, Josh Smith. The Hornets finished the season at 18–64 and failed to qualify for the playoffs. Smith was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month three consecutive times in 2005: in January, February and March.
In his second season in New Orleans, Smith's numbers declined across the board, averaging 7.7 points, 2 rebounds and 1.1 assists. The Hornets spent part of the season in Oklahoma City because of Hurricane Katrina. The Hornets finished 38–44, helped by the playmaking ability of rookie Chris Paul; despite the 20-game improvement, they again missed the playoffs.
Denver Nuggets (2006–2011)
On July 14, 2006, the Hornets traded Smith and forward–center P. J. Brown to the Chicago Bulls for center Tyson Chandler. On July 20, Smith was traded again, this time to the Denver Nuggets for guard Howard Eisley and two 2007 second-round draft picks.
On December 16, 2006, Smith was involved in the Knicks–Nuggets brawl. The brawl began when Mardy Collins flagrantly fouled Smith on a fast break. Smith was suspended for 10 games. On February 20, 2007, Smith suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee which required surgery; he missed several weeks. Smith averaged 13 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists in his first season with the Nuggets.
Smith's first trip to the playoffs during the 2006–2007 season proved disappointing. Smith, a 39% three-point shooter during the regular season, failed to connect on any three-point shots in the first four games and was criticized for poor decision-making by coach George Karl. After game four, Karl informed reporters of his plan to bench Smith for all of game 5. Karl said, "He's done," and explained his frustrations over Smith's poor judgment in shooting a three late in the game, "I have no idea what planet that came from." Karl told the Associated Press that he had drawn up the play to give the ball to either Allen Iverson or Carmelo Anthony. Karl continued, "And then, of course the one with eight seconds to go, from 50 feet, I just love the dignity of the game being insulted right in front of me."
On October 13, 2007, Smith was involved in an incident at a Denver nightclub. The Nuggets suspended him for the first three regular season games of 2007–2008 for his role in the incident. During the season, Smith averaged 12.3 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.
In Smith's second trip to the playoffs, during a first-round matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers, he played 27.0 minutes, averaging 18.3 points per game on 53.5% shooting. He also had a 31.8% three-point shooting percentage; however, the Nuggets were swept in the series.
On July 25, 2008, Smith was added to the Team USA Basketball select team to help the senior team prepare for the Olympics.
On April 13, 2009, Smith scored an NBA career-high 45 points on 13-of-22 shooting, as part of a 118–98 home win over the Sacramento Kings. He made a franchise-record 11 three-pointers during the game, which was one shy of tying the NBA record.
On his third trip to the playoffs, Smith averaged 14.9 points per game on 45.4% shooting. He helped the Nuggets make the Western Conference Finals before losing to the Lakers.
For the 2009–10 season, Smith and teammate Chauncey Billups agreed to change jersey numbers. Smith changed to the No. 5 jersey, in order to accommodate Billups' request to wear No. 1, the same number Billups wore with the Detroit Pistons. On December 23, Smith scored 41 points against the Atlanta Hawks which included 10 three-pointers, one shy of his record. Smith shot 10-of-17 from 3-point range.
He finished the 2009–10 season with the second most three-pointers in the league off the bench. Smith also averaged 15.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists. The Nuggets, however, once again exited the playoffs early. The 2010–11 season was a season of change for the Nuggets, who traded Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks. Smith played his familiar sixth man role and averaged 12.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists.
Zhejiang Golden Bulls (2011–2012)
During the 2011 NBA lockout, Smith signed with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). Because he did not secure an opt-out clause, he could not return to the NBA until the end of the 2011-12 CBA season.
On February 1, 2012, Smith scored a CBA career-high 60 points and 14 three-pointers in 18 attempts off the bench, during a 122–110 victory over the Qingdao Eagles. Two days later, he netted 41 points off the bench in a narrow 119–115 triumph over the Shandong Lions.
During his time with the Golden Bulls, Smith won a Foreign Player of the Week award, and was selected as a starter for the Southern Division All-Stars in the 2012 CBA All-Star Game, but did not play due to "personal reasons."
Individual accolades notwithstanding, Smith was unable to lead Zhejiang into the 2012 CBA Playoffs, with the squad eliminated from contention as of February 12. But this also cleared a path back to the NBA, and he signed with the Knicks five days later.
New York Knicks (2012–2015)
In 2012, after playing in China due to the lockout, Smith signed with the New York Knicks under the bi-annual exception worth $2.4 million. Smith made his Knicks debut against the Dallas Mavericks. He scored 15 points and drained three three-pointers in the first quarter in a Knicks win. After struggling most of the season to shoot the three-pointer, the Knicks greatly improved because of Smith and the emergence of Steve Novak. Smith became a fan favorite, gaining comparisons to John Starks. He averaged 12.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and a career high 1.5 steals per game with the Knicks that season. The Knicks faced the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs, but lost 4–1. Smith averaged 12.2 points but only shot 31.6% from the field and 17.9% from three-point range.
On July 11, the Knicks and Smith agreed to a $2.8 million contract with a player option. The Knicks were allowed to give Smith a 20% increase on his salary. Smith said he had larger offers from other teams, but chose to remain with New York because he wanted to stay close to home and have a chance at a championship.
On December 5, 2012, Smith hit the game-winning, fadeaway jump shot in a game against the Charlotte Bobcats as time expired for a 100-98 win. In similar fashion, on December 26, 2012 with one second remaining in regulation, Smith connected on a shot that gave the Knicks a 99–97 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Smith scored 27 points as the Knicks won without Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton.
On March 7, 2013, Smith scored 36 points in a losing effort, 95-94, to the Oklahoma City Thunder. In an April 7 rematch, Smith scored 22 points, five of which came in the closing minutes to put the game out of reach for the Thunder and give the Knicks their 50th win of the season for the first time since 2000. On March 26, Smith scored 32 points against the Boston Celtics as the Knicks routed the Celtics 100–85 at TD Garden. On April 12, Smith scored 31 points on 13-for-16 shooting (81%) to lead the Knicks to a 101–91 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Smith was awarded the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award for the 2013 season. He was the first Knick to win the award since John Starks, who did it in the 1996–97 season. He averaged a career high 18.1 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, 2.7 assists per game, and 1.3 steals per game in 33.5 minutes per game during the 2012-2013 season. He played 80 games during the season.
On July 11, 2013, Smith re-signed with the Knicks. The contract was reported to be worth $17.95 million over three years. Smith underwent surgery on July 15, 2013 to repair a patellar tendon and a torn meniscus, both in his left knee.
On September 6, 2013, Smith was suspended five games for violating the NBA's anti-drug program. The suspension was without pay and did not start until he was fit to play after knee surgery.
On January 8, 2014, Smith was fined $50,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct after repeated instances in which he attempted to untie the shoelaces of his opponents.
On April 6, 2014, Smith recorded an NBA record 22 three-point attempts in a 102–91 loss to the Miami Heat. He also recorded a new Knicks' record with 10 made three-pointers. Smith was 11-for-28 from the floor, 10-for-22 from beyond the arc, and took 10 threes in the fourth quarter alone. The single-game mark was previously held by Damon Stoudamire, who attempted 21 threes on April 15, 2005. Smith finished the game with 32 points.
Cleveland Cavaliers (2015–present)
On January 5, 2015, Smith was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team trade that also involved the Knicks and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Cleveland received Smith and Iman Shumpert from the Knicks and a first round pick in the 2015 NBA draft from the Thunder, while Cleveland sent Dion Waiters to Oklahoma City and Lou Amundson, Alex Kirk, and a second round pick in the 2019 NBA draft to the Knicks, and the Thunder send Lance Thomas to the Knicks. Two days later, he made his debut for the Cavaliers, recording just one rebound, one steal and one block in the 93-105 loss to the Houston Rockets.
On April 21, 2015, Smith recorded 7 points and a career-high 5 steals in a 99-91 win over the Boston Celtics, as the Cavaliers took a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series. On April 27, Smith was suspended for the first two games of the Eastern Conference semi-finals after he swung his arm and made contact with the head of Celtics forward Jae Crowder in Game 4 of their first-round series against Boston. In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Atlanta Hawks on May 20, Smith set a Cavaliers franchise playoffs record with eight three-pointers as he finished the game with 28 points off the bench to help lead the Cavs to a 97-89 win. Smith helped the Cavaliers sweep the Hawks and reach the NBA Finals for just the second time in franchise history. The Cavaliers faced the Golden State Warriors in the 2015 NBA Finals, but they lost the series in six games.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|2011–12||Zhejiang Golden Bulls||32||8||36.4||.517||.478||.758||7.4||4.1||2.5||.1||34.4|
Off the court
On February 2, 2007, Smith and teammate Carmelo Anthony were involved in a car accident. Neither player was injured in the collision. The only detail released by the team was that the car Smith was driving belonged to Anthony.
On June 9, 2007, Smith and two passengers were injured in a car accident on Stagecoach Road in Millstone Township, New Jersey, when the SUV he was driving collided with another car. Smith and a passenger, Andre Bell, were ejected from the vehicle at around 5:30 p.m. Smith's vehicle went through a stop sign and collided with the other car. Smith was taken to Jersey Shore University Hospital. Bell suffered serious head injuries before being pronounced dead on the night of June 11. Neither Smith nor the second passenger suffered life-threatening injuries. Smith and Bell were not wearing seatbelts at the time. In October 2008, a grand jury in Monmouth County, New Jersey declined to indict Smith on a vehicular manslaughter charge stemming from the accident.
On June 30, 2009, Smith pled guilty to the June 2007 accident. Smith was initially sentenced to 90 days in a Monmouth County (N.J.) jail, but 60 of those days were suspended, on the condition that he complete 500 hours of community service. On July 31, 2009, the Denver Post reported that Smith was released from jail after serving 24 days of his sentence.
On August 28, 2009, Smith was suspended seven games for the 2009–2010 NBA season because of his guilty plea in the 2007 reckless driving incident. The NBA also cited his poor driving record as grounds for the suspension. Smith's driving record included five suspensions in eight months, but was "in good standing" at the time of the crash in New Jersey. He was required to pay restoration fees and fines. Smith totaled 27 points against his record from April 2005 to January 2006, including eight violations on seven different days. Five citations were for speeding. Since the accident, he has received two more speeding tickets and three license suspensions in New Jersey.
On August 5, 2009, Smith closed his Twitter account (jr_smith1) because he was accused of writing in a way that reflected the Bloods gang, specifically replacing his c's with k's.
In March 2012, Smith was fined $25,000 by the NBA for posting a picture of model Tahiry Jose on his Twitter account. In May 2012, Smith was arrested in Miami Beach, Florida for failing to appear in court in 2011 after he was cited for operating a motor-scooter with no valid license. The following month, he sued his former team, the Zhejiang Golden Bulls, for $1 million after the team withheld that amount from his salary claiming he missed many practices and faked an injury.
Smith has two daughters. Former teammates Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul are their godfathers. Smith's younger brother Chris is also a professional basketball player; the two were teammates on the Knicks during the 2013–14 NBA season.
- During the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons, the team was known as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets during their temporary relocation to Oklahoma City due to Hurricane Katrina.
- Beck, Howard (May 25, 2012). "J.R. Smith Arrested in Miami Beach". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 25, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- Staff. "BASKETBALL; Amityville Prep Star Shares Award", The New York Times, March 25, 2004. Accessed September 19, 2014. "J. R. Smith, a 6-6 guard from Clarksburg, N.J., scored 16 points to win the East's most valuable player award."
- "Smith shining as shooter". Sports.espn.go.com. June 16, 2004. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "Howard, J.R. Smith Earn Co-MVP at McDonald’s". Preps.scout.com. April 1, 2004. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "ESPN – Bulls acquire F-C Brown, G Smith from Hornets for C Chandler – NBA". Sports.espn.go.com. July 14, 2006. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "NUGGETS: Nuggets Acquire J.R. Smith from Bulls". Nba.com. October 28, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "ESPN – Suspensions total 47 games from Knicks-Nuggets fight – NBA". Sports.espn.go.com. December 20, 2006. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "Karl: Smith's decisions in playoffs led to benching". ESPN.com. May 1, 2007. Retrieved July 15, 2007.
- "Nuggets’ Smith to Replace Memphis’ Rudy Gay In 2009 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE DENVER NUGGETS". Nba.com. February 10, 2009. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- Smith knocks down franchise-high 11 3's as Nuggets lock up Northwest title. Associated Press. April 13, 2009. Accessed April 13, 2009.
- Chris Tomasson %BloggerTitle% (September 25, 2009). "J.R. Smith Calls Time in Jail Most Humbling Experience of His Life". Nba.fanhouse.com. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- "J.R. Smith to play in Chinese league". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. September 14, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
- Sun, Xiaochen (September 15, 2011). "Import business thriving". ChinaDaily.com.cn. China Daily Information Co. Retrieved October 11, 2011.
- "European Basketball Main Page". Eurobasket. February 1, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- "European Basketball Main Page". Eurobasket. February 3, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- "篮协公布CBA第二周MVP 许钟豪JR-史密斯当选_网易体育". Sports.163.com. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- 2012年02月06日10:01 (September 9, 2010). "CBA全明星首发名单：王治郅票王 JR马布里入选". Cbachina.sports.sohu.com. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- "JR确定不参加CBA全明星 常规赛结束后将返回美国_网易体育". Sports.163.com. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- Ramona ShelburneESPNLosAngeles.comFollowArchive (February 16, 2012). "Source – Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks frontrunners for J.R. Smith – ESPN Los Angeles". Espn.go.com. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- PETER BOTTEMonday, February 20, 2012 (February 20, 2012). "J.R. a big shot in Knicks debut – New York Daily News". Articles.nydailynews.com. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- "JR Smith re-signs with New York Knicks – NBA News | FOX Sports on MSN". Msn.foxsports.com. July 10, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- Associated Press. "J.R. Smith's buzzer-beater lifts Knicks by Bobcats; Melo hurt". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- Associated Press. "J.R. Smith lifts depleted Knicks over Suns at buzzer". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- Associated Press. "Carmelo Anthony scores 36 points as Knicks extend winning streak". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- "Knicks' J.R. Smith wins Kia Sixth Man Award". Nba.com. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "J.R. Smith suspended for Game 4 after elbowing Jason Terry". SBNation.com. April 27, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- "J.R. Smith’s new Knicks deal is for three years, not four, which still doesn’t answer any questions". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- "Smith Returns, Re-Signs With Knicks After Award Winning Year". Knicksnow.com. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "J.R. could miss start of Knicks season after knee surgery". NY Post. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- Knicks’ Smith Suspended for Violating Drug Program
- "Cavs Acquire Shumpert and Smith in Three-Team Trade". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. January 5, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
- "Howard, Harden push Rockets past LeBron-less Cavs 105-93". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. January 7, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
- "LeBron scores 30, Cavaliers hold off Celtics 99-91 in Game 2". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. April 21, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
- "Smith, Olynyk suspended; Perkins fined". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. April 27, 2015. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
- "Smith, James lead Cavs past Hawks 97-89 in Game 1". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. May 20, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "Cavaliers Re-Sign Guard J.R. Smith". NBA.com. September 2, 2015. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
- "LeBron joins "Big O" on elite list, leads Cavs past Magic". NBA.com. November 23, 2015. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
- Nuggets Anthony, Smith miss shootaround after out accident realgm.com, March 12, 2009
- Nuggets guard Smith hospitalized but OK after SUV crash, updated June 10, 2007
- Passenger in Smith car dies; player doing OK, updated June 11, 2007
- Dempsey, Chris (July 31, 2009). "Smith released from New Jersey jail". Denver Post.
- "NBA suspends Denver Nuggets' J.R. Smith, Phoenix Suns' Jason Richardson – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. August 28, 2009. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- , updated June 13, 2007
- JR Smith Facing Traffic Charges From Fatal Crash NYTimes.com, January 6, 2009
- J.E. Skeets. "J.R. Smith shuts down Twitter account amid controversy – Ball Don't Lie – NBA Blog – Yahoo! Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- "The NBA strangely decides to fine J.R. Smith for his lame NSFW Twitter picture". Retrieved March 14, 2012.
- J.R. Smith is suing his old Chinese team for $1 million
- "J.R. Smith Postgame". Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- "NY Knicks' J.R. Smith makes favorable first impression at Madison Square Garden with hot hand in win over Dallas Mavericks".
- "Knicks add guards Chris Smith, Toure' Murry". NBA.com. September 11, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
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