J.R. Smith may not be universally beloved by the Cavaliers fans who will never get over the brainfart that resulted in Cleveland losing the first game of the NBA Finals in 2018 (although it’s hard to imagine the team would’ve won a series where they were ultimately swept by the Warriors).
However, I think most basketball fans would agree he was an incredibly entertaining player thanks in no small part to the various shenanigans that helped him cement himself as the ultimate wild card over the course of his career.
After all, we’re talking about a man who said “I don’t talk to the police” while explaining why he refused to engage with the NBA after being threatened with a fine for not covering up his Supreme tattoo and once commissioned a t-shirt of his own torso in response to the criticism he received for declining to wear a top while celebrating the title the Cavs won in 2016.
Smith was also responsible for one of the strangest suspensions in NBA history thanks to the one-game ban he received for throwing a bowl of soup at assistant coach Damon Jones in a somewhat infamous incident that unfolded in 2018.
The two men didn’t speak for three months before they agreed to squash the beef stemming from Soupgate, and now, Smith has offered some new insight into what went down after J.J. Redick dug up the past on a recent episode of The Old Man and the Three podcast.
During the interview, Redick seized on the opportunity to scratch an itch he’s apparently had for a while when he stated “I’ve always wanted to ask you this: Why did you throw the soup?” and Smith was kind enough to shed some light on his thought process.
Here’s what he had to say via Bleacher Report:
“So, Damon Jones, he’s my guy. … But he has a knack of playing too much.
And, for me—don’t get me wrong, I like to play a little joke here and there—but he’s consistent with it. For me, if I’m telling you ‘I’m not in the mood right now.’ I had some stuff going on at home, I wasn’t playing well. I’m like, ‘Not right now.’
“Sure enough, I’m in the lunch room getting my soup, he comes in—mind you, the soup was hot, I’m like the first person in there—he’s trying to make me spill it.
I’m not gonna lie, it took me a second. I actually thought about it. It wasn’t a rageful throw. It was like, ‘OK you’re playing with me, I know you’re playing with me, I’m gonna show you.’
I literally thought about it, and I threw it on him. He’s over there screaming because the s–t is hot. I’m like, ‘See, you’re gonna stop playing now with me now, right?'”
Never change, J.R. Never change.