J.R Smith has put his height to great use as he grew up to fulfill his dreams of playing in the big league of American basketball. Smith’s professional career started quite early as he entered the NBA straight out of high school unlike most other stars in the game who developed further in college.
The baller was selected in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft assuring him an early start in what has now turned into a pretty long career. Before the NBA Draft, he was a high flyer in his high school basketball team; Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School where he was regarded as a powerhouse in basketball in New Jersey. His powerhouse recognition launched him into a career that has seen him touch base with such teams as the New York Hornets (now known as the New York Pelicans), the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks.
The talented player has even touched base in China during the 2011 NBA lockout. In China, he played for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association. It is obvious that J.R Smith who has won one NBA Championship in his career, has had a pretty great career running as a basketball player, but we are getting ahead of ourselves let us look more at the details of his life in and beyond basketball below.
J.R Smith’s Early Life
J.R Smith is the short form of his full name of Earl Joseph Smith III. The young Smith grew up in New Jersey where he attended Millstone Middle School in 1999. He first went to Lakewood High School before transferring to Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School, where he played basketball impressively leading to his being named the co-MVP with Dwight Howard in 2004 at the McDonald’s All-American Game.
He made the decision to forgo college as he declared his eligibility for the 2004 NBA Draft. J.R was the 18th overall pick of the New Orleans Hornets in the first round of the 2004 NBA draft.
The baller was named as the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for three different months in 2005 while he was a rookie with the Hornets. He left the team in 2006 and went instead with the Denver Nuggets. His start was not so great at the Nuggets, and he even faced some criticism from the coach but he soon got back on his game.
Smith’s first National team call-up was in 2008 when he was added to the Team USA Basketball select team to help the senior team prepare for the Olympics. In April 2009, Smith scored an NBA career-high 45 points in a home win over the Sacramento Kings. He was one three-pointer short of matching an NBA record during the game.
Smith signed for the New York in 2012 after a brief stint in China due to the NBA lockout. He was at the Knicks from 2012 to 2015 before signing for the Cavaliers. The baller became a fan favourite because his addition improved the Knicks along with the emergence of Steve Novak. In his first season with the Knicks, he averaged 12.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. J.R in his second season with the Knicks was awarded the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award for the 2013 season. He became the first Knick to win the award since John Starks who won it in the 96-97 season.
Smith’s trade to the Cavaliers happened in 2015 in a three-way trade that included Oklahoma City Thunder. Despite his disciplinary issues, he was a great addition to the Cavaliers and helped them to the 2015 NBA finals, eventually losing to The Golden State Warriors. Smith re-signed with the Cavaliers on September 2, 2015, and with another stellar season helped the Cavs to another NBA final showdown with the Golden State Warriors. In Game 3, he scored 20 points to help the Cavaliers to a 120-90 win over the Warriors and cut the playoff deficit to 2-1. The Cavaliers would go on to win the Finals, earning the baller his first NBA title.
One of the best talents in the NBA with a long career behind him, J.R Smith has an extensive record spread across multiple teams. His NBA Regular Season career stat stands at 961 games played, 391 game starts, averaging 27 minutes per game with 12.6 points, 2 assists, 3.2 rebounds per game. In the postseason, Smith’s stat so far stands at 130 games played, 64 starts with 29.5 minutes per game. His returns in the playoffs are 11.3 points, 1.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds per game.
Wife and Daughter
In August 2016, Smith married his wife, Jewel Harris. Though mostly private they seem to have a very loving relationship. Together J.R Smith and his wife have three daughters whom they named Demi, Peyton, and Dakota.
Salary and Net worth
J.R Smith is currently on a four year $57 million contract with the Cavaliers which he signed on October 15, 2016, after their NBA Finals win over the Golden State Warriors. Smith is reportedly worth $20 million and earns about $12.8 million annually.
The Cavaliers shooting guard stands at a height of 6 feet 6 inches and he weighs 225lb. His height backed up by a slim build makes him lithe on the court as he assists his teammates and plays his part in pushing the team forward.