JR Smith Dishes On LeBron’s Scoring Record, Ja’s Suspension, Priciest Bar Tabs, And Whether He Considers Golf An Actual Sport

JR Smith speaks to the media before a golf tournament.

Getty Image

JR Smith is one of the most likeable and relatable athletes in the world. The former NBA star became a two-time champion as a member of the Lakers and Cavaliers before opting to take the college route after his career ended.

That college tenure not only includes his studies at North Carolina A&T, but also another sports responsibility. He’s a member of the school’s golf team.

While most might not think they can relate to a multi-sport millionaire, his story is one of overcoming odds, redemption, and evolution.

Smith made an appearance on the Snapback Sports podcast to promote an upcoming docuseries called Redefined, set to air on Amazon Prime Video this April.

In doing so, he touched on his past struggles in the classroom, fueled by his dyslexia. He talked about feeling different than everyone around him, delving into some of his deepest insecurities.

“More than anything, I hope that [viewers]… can put themselves in my place with whatever issues they have going on in their lives… I think it resonates with a lot of people.”

Check out the awesome interview below.

JR Smith touches on a few different things, including his basketball career and his golf outlook. He also talked about former teammate LeBron James, who recently broke the NBA scoring record, as well as the off-court issues pestering Ja Morant.

Here’s everything he had to say.

On overcoming his past struggles in the classroom…

“The most important thing to learn from the documentary is the power to overcome your insecurities, or things you can really second-guess or feel self-conscious about, or just something that brought a trauma to your life. For me, as a kid, my academics were always last on my list because I was never good at school.

“I hated reading. I grew up being dyslexic and having ADHD, and not being able to confidently live within myself because I felt like I was so much different than everybody else. Seeing my peers and people excel in the classroom was something I was very insecure of and shied away from.

“I hope people can understand that aspect of it and get to a point where they feel like they’ve achieved and been successful.”

On whether NIL would’ve changed his decision to go pro out of high school…

“Nah, I still like that path for me. That was always my dream, my goal to play in the NBA, and to get there as soon as possible… If I would’ve gone to college, it would’ve been a one-and-done situation.”

Advice for Ja Morant…

“I can resonate a lot with his situation. I don’t know him personally, but I heard he’s a great person and a great guy… For me, the only advice I can give him right now is to find somebody to talk to. Find an outlet, somebody who’s your confidant.

“Have real conversations with people… who don’t want anything from you, who aren’t in your pocket… Whether it be an old [NBA] vet, an old teacher, an old coach, or whoever that is for him.

“Or whether it be therapy. I don’t want to put that on him and say, ‘That’s what he needs,’ but I think a lot of professional athletes shy away from it because of the stereotypes.

It wasn’t all serious for JR Smith, though. He also answered a few lighthearted questions as the interview continued on.

On if he believes he’d have the NBA scoring record had he taken as many shots as LeBron…

“Yeah, for sure. Yeah, 100%.”

On whether or not golf is an actual sport…

“I was one of the people who didn’t consider golf a sport because I don’t think you can translate it into other sports in terms of athletic ability. Running, throwing, jumping, and those agility things.

“Once I started playing golf, I realized how much of a sport it was… I’m carrying my own bag in these college tournaments and trying to compete. There’s no other sport that compares when it comes to the hand-eye coordination to swing a club at 117 MPH and meet up with the ball, and intentionally get to a certain spot from 250, 300, 400 yards away…

“There’s no other sport like it. Not even close.”

This and that…

JR Smith was also hit with a few rapid-fire questions towards the end of the interview to which he gave some great answers. When asked about his most expensive bar tab during his NBA playing days, he responded, “$30K.”

He says his dream golf foursome includes him, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, and his dad.

He values the Cavs’ NBA title over the won he won in Los Angeles.

Overall, it was an awesome interaction with a down-to-earth superstar. The first episode of Smith’s docuseries, Redefined, is set to air on Amazon Prime Video on April 4th.