There have been rumors around the league that J.R. Smith is one of the top targets this offseason by the Los Angeles Lakers, who have been busy rounding out their roster this past week.
Though he shares the same agent as LeBron James, his former teammate with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Smith doesn’t feel the urge to reach out for the chance to play with him once again.
“He said he will not be reaching out to former teammate LeBron James in hopes the Los Angeles Lakers will give him another shot in the league. He and James are both represented by agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports,” wrote Marla Ridenour of Ohio.com.
“No. I ain’t got to do that, my resume speaks for itself,” Smith said.
His resume, however, was soiled by his costly mistake in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals when he dribbled out the clock thinking that his Cavs were ahead by one, when they were actually tied with the Golden State Warriors. The infamous incident has haunted his legacy to this day.
Nevertheless, Smith is a veteran shooting guard who can contribute to a team looking for an outside shooter that can also defend two positions.
The Lakers are such a team who need a player with his specific set of skills, and the fact that he used to be a James teammate would make him a good fit in L.A.
But Smith doesn’t seem like he is in a hurry to go to another team anytime soon. More than anything, he stated how fortunate he is to be playing the game this long and he understands that the game of life is much more important.
“I’m fortunate to be home with my kids and my wife for this amount of time,” he said. “I don’t take that for granted. I’ve been playing basketball professionally for going on 16 years and so much time has been lost. I’ve been trying to make up for that as much as I can.
“I live a good life. There’s no reason for me to be stressed or be dissatisfied. I’ve got four amazing kids. I went through one of the toughest parts of my life with my [premature] daughter [Dakota]. This is a cakewalk … I get to be around my kids growing up. I don’t have to wait until I’m retired, ‘Oh, I missed this.’ I’ve been blessed.”
With a championship ring in hand and a loving family at home, Smith can rest easy even if he doesn’t play a single professional basketball game anymore.