Cleveland Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith stands accused of choking a 19-year-old New Yorker outside of a pizza shop after the fan reportedly gave the former New York Knick an earful of something he didn’t take to kindly to earlier this month.
The New York Daily News first reported the story:
Smith has been accused of choking a 19-year-old high school student in Chelsea after the younger man quipped about the hoopster’s trade to Cleveland.
Smith, 30, has not been arrested in connection to the alleged incident outside Artichoke Basille’s Pizza about 4 a.m. on Nov. 13 at W. 17th St. and Tenth Ave.
The teen, Justin Brown, who wears braces and hails from Harlem, was with pals who chided Smith for ignoring their fan request for a photo.
Smith is seen on a cell phone video walking away from the group, sources said.
“That’s why New York kicked you out, yo!” Brown remarked.
Brown told cops that after the verbal brush, Smith, who is 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds, checked him against the exterior of the building and put his hands around Brown’s neck, police sources said.
Alex Spiro, a lawyer for Smith, said the claims against the athlete are unfounded.
Kid probably asked for a picture, J.R. Smith probably politely declined, and then the kid probably got out of pocket thanks to some beer muscles. Classic 4 a.m. pizza shop encounter. Next thing you know, J.R. has to choke a bitch! Boom, headline news.
While obviously this isn’t a good look for J.R. Smith, who has found himself in trouble with the law twice since 2009, I kind of have to take his side if this incident did actually happen. You can’t let some 19-year-old punk talk trash on you at 4 a.m. in the morning when you’re trying to enjoy some pizza after the club! Can’t have him ripping the time you spent pouring your heart out for the city of New York! Kid basically asked to be choked up against a wall with remarks like that.
Like they always say, “don’t put yourself in a situation where an NBA player vastly bigger than you could choke you out for being an asshole.”