After spending years in New York City and enjoying all that New York City has to offer every night after a game or practice, J.R. Smith now finds himself in little old Cleveland. He's started strong — and the Cavs' trades in general seemed to have rejuvenated the entire team — but many wondered if Smith's reputation as an off-the-court problem would follow him from NY to Ohio. It seems the lack of options, by comparison, has meant the answer is no. In a Q&A with NBA.com's David Aldridge
, Smith breaks it down.
JRS:…I think this is the best situation for me, ’cause there’s nothing but basketball. There’s nothing you expect but basketball. There’s nothing, there’s no going out, there’s no late nights. There’s video games, basketball and basketball. So it’s a great thing, ’cause I go back to where I came from. When I grew up, I never, I wasn’t allowed to go out. I missed my prom because I went to an AAU tournament, and all that stuff. For me, it was basketball, basketball, basketball. And then when I got in the situation where I was at an early age, it was more, alright, let me see what this life is about, as opposed to just keep going. So now, I get the chance to get back to my roots.”
Me: Did you find that exploring that life, because you could, wasn’t all it was cracked up to be? I can spend whatever I want, and at the end of the day, it really doesn’t mean anything?
JRS: Especially from the standpoint of making me better. I always made myself better by staying in the gym. When you replace that with stuff off the court, then you’re taking away from what made you who you are, or what got you to a certain point. It was kind of pulling me down in a sense, of not getting enough rest, not doing things you’re supposed to be doing, things you’re used to doing. So when you start missing those shots you’re supposed to make, especially wide-open shots, it was like, alright, what’s going on, what’s going on? Instead of looking at what it is, you’re reverting to that even more, instead of going back to the basics. So I think that’s the greatest part about being here.
It seems he hasn't found Johnny's floor at the 9 yet. Just wait, there's still time.