Cavaliers shooting guard J.R. Smith is a fan favorite in Cleveland thanks to his 3-point shooting binges and overall approach to the game. To one Cavs fan, though, he’s more than just a favorite player but a friendoff the court as well.
Cavs.com details the relationship Smith has built with Brad Hennefer in a must-see feature …
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith is something of an illustrated man, such as he is nearly totally covered with tattoos. And last night at the Cavs game, a young fan showed up in his best Smith outfit — a Cavs jersey, a bobblehead and tons of tattoos. (Temporary, we hope.) Guess he passed the test — J.R. came over and gave him an autograph…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Comedian Frank Caliendo has become well-known for his impressions of several sports figures, including TNT’s own Charles Barkley. And with Caliendo in Phoenix last night, he checked in on the Cavs, and did a postgame interview where he broke down the Cavs as everyone from Barkley to Jon Gruden. But the real fun part happens at the end of the video, when J.R. Smith randomly turns up and takes some good-natured ribbing from Caliendo, in character as Barkley.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith marches to the beat of his own drummer (or, if it’s during The Finals, to the beat of his own Phunkeeduck). The preseason is seemingly right up Smith’s alley with games often held in non-NBA arenas so fans outside of the teams cities can get a gander at their local team a little closer to home.
Such was the case last night for the Cavs preseason game against the Memphis Grizzlies, held at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Ohio State’s campus. Memphis won the game and sent Cleveland to 0-3 in the preseason, but Smith may have won the night. Smith sat out the game due to hamstring soreness but, during the first half of the game, flagged down a cotton candy vendor in the lower bowl.
The outlandish activity was initially chalked up by observers as Smith being Smith and showing the eccentric side that has followed him like a shadow during his 12-year career. Also, it was only a preseason game, after all. His in-game snack only illustrated just how inconsequential the preseason schedule really is.
A Cavs team official said that Smith was purchasing the cotton candy for the son of professional golfer Jason Day, who was seated by the Cavs bench. Day’s wife, Ellie, is from Lucas, Ohio, and is a Cleveland sports fan. The couple sat courtside for Game 3 of the NBA Finals in June.
After finishing the Presidents Cup on Sunday, Day flew from South Korea back to Ohio to catch the Cavs game Monday. Smith, an avid golfer in his free time, has befriended Day since he was traded to Cleveland from New York last season.
While the cotton candy might have been ultimately intended for Day’s son, Dash, Smith munched on some of it during the game as well.
To corroborate McMenamin’s account, we’ve got some additional Twitter pictures of the transaction …
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you needed an NBA player to make a halfcourt shot with high stakes, J.R. Smith would be a good option, considering his ability to make shots from anywhere on the court. And last night in Cleveland, at the Cavaliers’ Wine and Gold scrimmage, J.R. Smith had the chance to take a halfcourt shot worth $30,000 for a military member. So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that J.R. calmly stepped up and drained the jumper from halfcourt…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — You don’t have to be a detective to figure out that several members of the Cleveland Cavaliers gathered in Miami this weekend to get in a workout together. How do we know? They all posted the same picture on Instagram. Either there was a glitch in the matrix or they all really liked this photo…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Here on the All Ball blog, we try to take a big picture look at the NBA, which means we spend as much (or more) time looking at off-court stuff as we do at the on-court. With that established, we thought we would preview the 2015 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers by looking at some of the things that makes each franchise so special…
Is it OK to say this was the sweetest moment for Derrick Rose since 2011? Yes, it appears so, because what could be more uplifting to a player who’s been to injury hell and back (three times) than sending a sucker punch to LeBron James and the Cavs here in what could be a tightly-contest second-round playoff series?
Over the last few years it has become customary, even tired, to proclaim “He’s Back!” whenever Rose did anything that remotely resembled his MVP season. To be honest, Rose will never be “back” until he displays the consistency of that season, but let’s put that aside for a moment. On this very play, with this very shot, he was “back” for a fleeting microsecond, even if the three-point buzzer beater than put the Bulls up 2-1 in the series required a kiss from the basketball Gods to bank off the glass.
As it is, Rose is being celebrated today in the same city that heckled him during his clumsy comeback from knee surgery a few years ago. Good for him, because if anyone needed a lift from a crazed crowd and a game-winning shot, it’s Rose.
Well, when you’re running to your right and need to shoot over a defender who has the wingspan of a prehistoric bird, then yeah, this shot was a bit tricky to pull off.
Rose took an in-bounds pass with three seconds left and after shaking free of ImanShumpert, found Tristan Thompson flying in his grill. Of course, with time of the essence, there really wasn’t any time to think. And maybe that was a good thing. Three times on the Bulls’ previous four possessions, Rose missed one of two free throws and went 0-for-2 on isolation plays. This time, Rose simply launched it and didn’t call bank.
Before Rose’s game winner, the Bulls were stunned by a desperate three-pointer by J.R. Smith just seconds earlier. In a bit of bad decision-making by the Bulls and coach Tom Thibodeau, the Bulls refused to foul Smith while leading by three. In that situation, it’s better to send a player to the free throw line than risk having him tie the game, and the Bulls lost that gamble.
With Pau Gasol on the bench dealing with an injured hamstring, the Bulls couldn’t afford to play into overtime, not against LeBron. Speaking of whom, he poked the ball away from Rose on the very next play. Lucky for LeBron, he wasn’t called for a foul. And lucky for Rose, the ball went out of bounds, giving the Bulls another shot with three seconds left.
Bulls are up 2-1 in the best of seven. And the next game’s at the United Center on Sunday. C’mon.
Rose was rather subdued, as though he knew a 30-foot bank shot was going in all the way. Anyway, he was immediately lifted into the air by Joakim Noah, who sprinted off the bench, and soon mobbed by teammates. Of course, the UC went nuts, as it should, given that all of Chicago has been waiting to see something like this from Rose for nearly four years. Wish granted. If the Bulls win this series, don’t you think this shot will be raised as one of the reasons why?
Five Horrys, because of the circumstances: Rose’s continued comeback from injuries, it was a playoff game, LeBron was on the floor, and the ball was banked in. Yes, this is the max number of Horrys, but just the same, this isn’t some game in February. Please, after all he’s been through, don’t you think Rose should get lots of Horry love?
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — When the Miami Heat were racking up titles the last few seasons, almost every postgame interview featured some new form of a videobomb. LeBron James may be in Cleveland now, but last night after the Cavs clinched the Central Division, the videobombs returned. Check out J.R. Smith doing several different videobombs last night…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — At a recent Cleveland Cavaliers game, one lucky fan won a contest that involved throwing chickens (rubber, presumably) at a target on the court. His prize? A dinner with Cavs guard J.R. Smith. Luckily for us, cameras were brought along to capture their dining experience. I really love this video because the time they share seems to be pretty boring and normal and low-key. But more than anything, it’s normal.
NBA players may be huge superstars, but in this video, these dudes talk about the weather, they chat about golf, they talk a bit about basketball, and of course there are also some awkward silences while they eat. In short, it’s a totally normal meal between a few people who don’t know each other very well but are trying to make the best of it.