Despite superstar teammate LeBron James’ campaigning, J.R. Smith believes he won’t be invited to compete in the three-point shootout during NBA All-Star Weekend next month in Toronto.
Smith, currently hitting 39 percent of his long-range bombs, says his reputation is keeping him out.
The 30-year-old is averaging 12 points and 2.7 rebounds for the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers.
Per the Akron Beacon Journal:
LeBron James is thinking about starting a petition. The get J.R. Smith to All-Star Weekend petition for the 3-point shootout. Smith is now 20th in league history for 3-pointers made, but he’s never been invited. With All-Star weekend in Toronto this year, maybe we can get #PipeTheNorth trending. […] “You know they don’t want me there,” Smith said (last) week. “You know they don’t want me part of All-Star festivities.”
Smith’s reputation, both on and off the court, is well documented. He has been suspended for at least 29 games and fined more than $100,000 in his career. He believes he’s been unfairly targeted by officials at times and has taken to stop talking to them entirely this season. Given the fact 15 of 20 guys ranked above him have made the event, perhaps his reputation really has been a factor in being left out. […] “The fact that he’s second when you look at how many (instances of) eight or more 3s he’s made in a game, he’s second behind Steph now. He’s never been invited,” James said. “I think I might need to start making that petition. Us being the No. 1 team in the East, him shooting the ball the way he’s been shooting it, we need to try to get as many guys to All-Star as possible. Guys know in the league he’s an unbelievable 3-point shooter and he deserves an invite.”
If Kyrie Irving holds on to second place in the fan voting (he extended his lead from the first batch of returns to the second), the Cavs will likely send three All-Stars to the game in Irving, James and Kevin Love. They don’t really have any slam dunk candidates and Irving has previously competed in the skills competition, but did so badly he swore he’d never do it again. That leaves the 3-point shootout, where both Irving and Love are past champions. […] “He definitely deserves it,” Irving said.