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J.R. Smith Is the Perfect Cleveland Athlete!

Updated on August 9, 2017
Pam Morris profile image

Writing is my passion. I have an undying thirst and quest in the field of writing. Some eat, drink or use drugs when stress, I write.

J. R. Smith, the twelve-year veteran of the National Basketball Association recently resigned with the Cleveland Cavaliers after sitting out most of the training camp. I personally feel that it was a wise choice because Cleveland now has all their starting pieces back in place to defend their title. Smith has proven his worth to the coach and the team repeatedly with his defensive prowess and ability to successfully ‘launch away threes’ at the most appropriate times.

As a big fan of J R Smith, I am extremely happy he came to an agreement with Cleveland so he can use those great shooting and defense abilities to help the team and play a crucial role in their effort to repeating as NBA champions. Hopefully bringing Smith back as a major contributor will be as rewarding as it was last season when he helped the Cavs bring a major sports championship to Cleveland for the first time since 1964. He has not only become one of the Cavs most valuable players but one of the most popular among the fan base as well. The fans and his teammates have given Smith the adorable nickname "Swish" from when he proudly displayed the tattoo when he went shirtless in the team's championship parade last June.

Smith has been judged guilty of some of the league’s most unpredictable gratifications and diversions, both off and on the court. He has been looked upon as a being a rowdy child that transformed into playing with a lot more maturity and dependability since joining Cleveland. He’s also shown abilities that simply weren’t there for much of his career. During the championship run his passing skills had a way of both captivating and confusing the fans, coaches and even his teammates. It also shows that he doesn’t want to be a distraction in Cleveland and has become devoted to being a better player.

J.R. Smith is one of the Basketball’s most professional players in the league. It is so because he can hit the floor, throw a landing three-pointers and play strong defense. One can’t help but wonder if Smith’s career would be even more establish if he had hooked up with King James years before. After all, King James called Smith "a model citizen" earlier in the preseason.

Wall Street Journal has written that Smith possesses the N.B.A.’s “most diversified portfolio of infractions,” having violated league policies and municipal laws related to marijuana and motor scooters among other things. With a great team member like ‘King James’ who is known to be like a cheat code to the team believing in Smith as he believes in himself, Cleveland has a winning player and he is the perfect athlete for Cleveland.

J.R. Smith: A Misunderstood Genius

Yes, Smith has had his fair share of controversial moments, and some people might say that he is arrogant, I don’t agree with this view more, so I see him as confident. Some may even consider him a confused troublemaker; I honestly disagree as I see him as a misunderstood genius. Even before Smith was traded to Cleveland, he experienced his fair share of spotlight moment. In 2013 he was honored by being named the 2013 NBA Sixth Man of the Year.

Smith abetted his former team the New York Knicks defeat the Boston Celtics to win the first round of the NBA playoffs, and that was the first since the year 2000. They had a chance of moving forward in the playoffs, but during Game 3 Smith lost his temper and swung his elbow at Celtics guard, Jason Terry, forcing him to be suspended for Game 4 which was a major hurt to his team’s chances at moving forward in the playoffs.

From the Game 4 suspension, he received much criticism, and the Celtics took full advantage of their opponent being down one significant player. Game 5 was a challenging game for Smith he received a lot of flak for his action. But despite all this his team did not progress the way the team desired, Smith was then and presently being the “go-to” guy. When the team is, down and expects a player to sink the next to impossible baskets with just a few seconds left on the clock, Smith will deliver, and that’s why he is the perfect Cleveland athlete.

Smith is human and errs expected of him as we all makes mistakes and he admits he is neither perfect nor everyone’s saint. Although Smith has been involved in his share of brawls in the court that comes with a multitude of technical fouls, it should not forever be attached to his name. People can change if they so desire and the 6’6″ shooting guard has had a tough time keeping his attitude in check in the past during inopportune moments.

What has set the course for Smith’s actions in the past is opposing teams’ fans boo upon his arrival to the court. But anyone that watches Smith play must admit although he has a history of quick-temper he plays with conviction and passion, something you don’t see often. Lately, he’s been in the zone; he’s untouchable and a good ball player. He is the player who will drive the ball to the basket with authority, nailing the shot and drawing the foul. For this reason, Smith is the perfect Cleveland athlete.

Why J R Smith Changed his Behavior

Smith has spent most of his professional career making a series of bad decisions, but he had things that happened to him last year that seem to have made him look in the mirror. For the first time in Smith’s life, he starts to look at his actions and question his life. From an interview, Smith said, “Am I really what everybody is saying I am? Am I really a cancer?' We'd just gotten to the Finals and I'm not trying to toot my horn, but I thought I'd had a major part in that." That thought and questions made Smith adjust the way he views the world.

Although some might think it can be perilous to declare Smith, a changed man because that announcement has been made before and he only had setbacks or disappointed the fans. Well, Smith has some people in his life that motivate him to be a new Smith -- the defender, the reasonable family man. The type of man and the player the Cavalier or another team can trust and deserve the contract given to him.

Smith knows he doesn't always have the best judgment, but he's doing everything he can to keep his promise to himself and to his daughter. She taught him to sacrifice offense for defense, and it's leading to a version of him that has proved to be valuable to the Cavaliers. Moreover, Smith made a significant big decision to marry his longtime girlfriend, Jewel. Hopefully, this move will motivate him to try and learn to see the world in a diverse way.

Cleveland is the ideal team for Smith as he said, "I feel like my story would've been different had I had a chance to play with King LeBron when I was 18.” I’ve thought about it countless times." Smith never claimed to be a saint, but after a conversation with his daughter about sacrifice she is going to have to make, she asks him what will he sacrifice, and he made a promise to his daughter and family to work on being on his best behavior throughout the remainder of his NBA career. Although it won’t happen overnight, Smith’s determination will get him there.

There is no doubt Smith is a good basketball player. He played a vital part in Cleveland winning 2015 – 2016 championship and He will continue to contribute to their winning success since he resigned. Smith might be a little rusty as he has sat out training camp. Smith played his first preseason game back against Washington in Columbus, Ohio to get back into the swing of things. Cleveland will open the regular season at home on Oct. 25 against the New York Knicks.

Smith is often criticized for his past discrepancy in the court as he makes no act of contrition for his actions, but he shows he has changed and he now learns how to come back stronger. That the quality of a true champion who wants his legacy to be remembered long after his days on the court. It’s time Smith teammates, the fans, and the coach gives him some credit where credit is due. If Cleveland is ready to bring home another championship, J.R. Smith shows he is ready as an excellent player and the best Cleveland athlete.

J.R. Smith Is the Perfect Cleveland Athlete

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© 2016 Pam Morris

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