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Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 at 9:25 am  |  20 responses

JR Smith, Chinese Team Not Seeing Eye-to-Eye


You’ll never believe this, but JR Smith is going through some drama with the basketball team that’s employing him in China. The good news, however, is that Smith’s knee injury doesn’t appear all that serious. NIUBBALL reports: “After the game, Smith, who was unable to walk on his own, refused to be taken to a nearby hospital in DongGuan, insisting that he instead be taken back to the team hotel. According to a Sina Sports report, once back in the hotel, the club agreed with Smith that he would have an MRI done in Yiwu, the city where the Golden Bulls are based out of, and scheduled him to fly back with the team the next day accordingly. If results showed that there was a major injury, then Smith would be allowed to fly back to the United States to undergo the next step in the recovery process. But early yesterday morning, team general manager, Zhao Bing, received a surprising bit of news: Smith was not going back with the team to Yiwu visit with team doctors like he had originally agreed to. Instead, he had already boarded a plane to Beijing. The change in itinerary went directly in the face of the Zhao, who told him under no circumstances was he allowed to get on a plane out of Yiwu. Smith had made up his mind, however, and once word got back to Zhao that Smith had landed in the capital, he went on Sina Weibo (Chinese Twitter) to publicly warn Smith of the potential consequences for his actions. ‘The club has looked into the situation and we have agreed to warn J.R. about his trip to Beijing,’ Zhao tweeted. ‘We hope he can come back to the team as soon as possible, otherwise he will have to face the consequences.’ Soon after seeing Zhao’s comments, Smith responded on his own Sina Weibo, tweeting ‘My main goal is to get healthy! If you can’t understand that then maybe you should pick another profession!’ Disrespected by Smith’s direct tone, angered by his decision to disobey team orders and incredulous about the doctor’s diagnosis, Zhao went to the press earlier today to issue some stern words. ‘We already know the results of J.R. Smith’s medical examination,’ Zhao said to reporters. ‘He’s coming back this afternoon to Yiwu to meet with the team. Tonight we will call the owner, head coach and high level people from the front office for a face-to-face meeting with Smith to discuss the situation. Afterwards, we will come up with a punishment for his unauthorized departure.We don’t have a problem with him worrying about his health, but he should obey the arrangements the club made for him. We set up an medical exam for him, but he refused the one we provided for him. I have no idea why. It’s not like the team doesn’t have proper medical equipment, you can get an MRI on your knee anywhere. For an injured player, we will certainly make sure the player is properly cared for. But, Smith didn’t obey the club’s arrangements.’ Zhao even went to far as to suggest that Smith was faking his injury in a possible attempt to go home … Amid all the drama, Smith went on Sina Weibo today to profess his desire to stay with Zhejiang. ‘My goal was nor is not to leave! My goal is to win! An for us to win our team must be heathy!’ Smith stayed overnight in Beijing yesterday before having the MRI this morning, the results of which came up negative. According to China Daily, the team had become so fed up with Smith’s lack of respect that they considered cutting him.”

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  • tomtom

    No Chinese eye jokes people…i know it’s the easy path to walk down, but it just not cool. :| (ooooh i got a good one..)

  • http://slamonline.com hirardu

    cant believe this guy’s attitude.

  • http://sportsnickel.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/silvastpierre.jpg Jukai

    Real stupid, tomtom.

  • tomtom

    Really Jukai? Was it? Or was it ironic rather than disparaging? Maybe you have some soul searching to do my friend? I with the Chinese, JR smith seems like a grade A.

  • http://Zogs.ca Zogs

    There’s SoOoooo MANY JoKES to makeeee!!!!!

  • http://Zogs.ca Zogs

    What do you call a chinese boy that gets a puppy for Christmas?
    -
    Dinner

  • http://Zogs.ca Zogs

    ^^lol I know it’s not related, but…

  • tomtom

    …see Jukai, now that (@zogs) was stupid, a little perspective for ya.

  • Natty dread

    Smith can do what ever heard wants he’s better than those chinese eyes hahaha he’s a Nba player!

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Good grief, hashing things out on PRC-Twitter? Making a big hubub to the press by releasing statements? this feels amateurish. I expect JR to be a headcase, no surprise there, but team management is doing quite a bit to make sure the player seems overly at fault in this case.
    Sounds like he’s being set up to be the bad guy for his possible premature departure already.

  • thurman

    shows the arrogance some americans have towards EVERY other nations and nationality.

  • bike

    That’s because he is at least a foot taller than them.

  • LA Huey

    :: bites tongue ::

  • http://slamonline.com YKnoT

    What did they expect when they signed him? Have you not paid attention to his career? This is only the tip of the iceberg!

  • AB

    By their actions you shall know them. Always remember this in all walks of life. By his action I knew that OJ, and Ted Kennedy killed 2 people. This kid refused medial help. Why? Because he would have been exposed as a faker which is part of his past. A liar. Nothing new there. Get rid of him and don’t pay him. Force him to go to court.

  • MUBWAR

    hahahahaha ahh bike. that 1 got me

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    more than likely Smith didn’t trust whatever Doctor they wanted him too see. And honestly, I don’t know how comfortable I would be seeing a professional who probably doesn’t speak my language, about my own health.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The NUPE

    Obviously I don’t know what the real situation was here. I understand wanting to go to a doctor you feel more comfortable with. But this was ‘just’ an MRI – something any hack could do. Maybe he didn’t want to use a team doctor because he didn’t trust he’d get an honest answer? In any event, IF he made an agreement with the team management to wait until the next day and go back with the team, then he should have done that. Considering his history, I don’t put it past him to fake something or just want to do things his own way out of spite. But looking out for his career isn’t something I want to hold against him either.

  • Martha Hall

    This isn’t too much of a surprise to me. I have worked in China for 10 years. When I first arrived I learned that Chinese will not stay home if they are ill with a fever or illness.

    I saw a colleague almost fired because the doctor told her to stay home for 5 days since she might be contageous and her Chinese boss insisted she work in any event. I have spent time in Chinese hospitals outside of Beijing and I wouldn’t make that mistake again. It is difficult to talk to Chinese about this kind of topic since their mind set is so different from ours. Another comment on this article. It appears that by doing his own thing and returning to Beijing. This caused the “boss” to lose face. In China, bosses expect to be respected come hell or hot water. They do not think, as we do, that respect should be earned. Chinese will respect the boss no matter what he does and the boss believes he can dictate what every employee does.

    The coach should get our of Zhejiang as quickly as possible.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The Nupe, do you know what kind of MRI he was getting? Cuz not all MRI’s are very simple. Sometimes they have to give you a shot, full of a liquid that glows in the MRI machine, showing where, or if you have tears. It’s painful, the needle is big. If you aren’t being explained by the person administering the test I would imagine it would be pretty scary.

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