JR Smith: ‘It’s Hard to Be Somewhere Where They Know They Don’t Want You’

by November 02, 2018
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JR Smith wants out of Cleveland, but his public admission may cost him a fine.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver says he hopes to avoid having to punish Smith.

The 33-year-old says the Cavs no longer want him, but won’t consider taking a leave of absence while the team works on a potential trade.

Per the Akron Beacon Journal:

“It’s potentially finable … We have rules against players asking for trades, but in the first instance we look for organizations to work through those issues,” Silver said after the announcement that Cleveland would host the 2022 NBA All-Star Game. “I spoke to Koby Altman and I know he’s talking directly to J.R. My hunch is that he’ll find a way to deal with it and it won’t be necessary for the league office to get involved. You all know me, too. It’s a last resort to be sanctioning or disciplining a player.”

Smith, 33, said it’s hard for him to put on a Cavs jersey every day after being dropped from the rotation, but he will help young players who seek him out.

“I can’t do that to these fans, I can’t do it to the city,” Smith said. “The way the city embraced me, the fans embraced me, the relationship I have with them, I can’t do that to them. It’s not about me, it’s not about who wants me here and who doesn’t want me here. For me it’s all about the fans.”

Smith said it’s tough to come to work, but he has plenty of support during a tough time.

“It’s hard to be somewhere where they know they don’t want you there. You gotta go in there and put on this front and act like you’re so happy, regardless,” he said. “We all make a ton of money. That’s not what this is about. I can’t even be competitive anymore. For somebody in my shoes, that’s the hardest part.”

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