JR Smith says he was “hurt” to discover that he was losing his spot in Cleveland’s starting lineup to newcomer Dwyane Wade.
Smith initially thought Wade would be a sixth man for the Cavs, and was taken aback when head coach Tyronn Lue informed him of his new role.
New story: JR tells @RoadTrippinPod he was "hurt" by benching; Wade tells ESPN he wants to relationship build w/ JR https://t.co/jArgy9k4le
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 13, 2017
Smith plans to do a lot of “scoring, scoring, scoring” off the bench.
Per ESPN (via the “Road Trippin” podcast):
“Honestly, I was hurt, man,” Smith said on the podcast, which posted Friday. “I was really emotionally drained at that point. I got wind of it that it was going to go down, but I didn’t know. I was told he’s going to be great for the second unit. … It would be a great fit for the team, whatever, whatever. I’m like, ‘Awesome, let’s do it. One hundred percent. Out of all people, another person we’re going to just grab for damn-near nothing? For sure. Let’s do it.'”
Smith, who on media day said, “As long as we win, I don’t care,” when asked about Wade coming to the Cavs and perhaps affecting his role, opened up about his reaction when the possibility of Wade starting became a reality.
“My first initial thought, it wasn’t even to be selfish because that’s not just who I am as a player and as a person,” Smith said. “I’m a one-track mind. It’s what I’ve always been. That’s just me. So when you tell me something, I look at it as gold. So when you tell me something else, literally a couple of days later, it’s like, ah, now I got to change my mind frame from where I was at the last three years to flip it back to me being the sixth man — a successful three years, an extremely successful three years, I mean, we’ve been to three straight Finals.
“So to revert back, and the first thing I thought about was New York, like, ‘Damn. I got to go back to being the sixth man and just scoring, scoring, scoring. Being aggressive.’ And at the same time, also, I’m looking at our lineup like, my first thought with the lineup was, ‘OK, but who is going to stretch the floor? OK, we got Jae [Crowder], who is a knock-down 3-point shooter, Kev [Kevin Love] is a knock-down 3-point shooter, but that’s two out of the five guys that’s got to be on the floor.”
JR Smith ‘Absolutely Frustrated’ Over Losing Starting Spot