Coexistence and the difficulties that lie within: JR Smith lands gig with the Cleveland Cavaliers

wedding cakeSome relationships are destined for failure.  You can sense it before it happens.  That first fight, that little squabble, that annoying thing your partner does that you put up with for a while but that you know will ultimately lead to an unpleasant breakup.

Some people were just not meant to be together.  That’s the way of the world.

Somewhat ironically, only yesterday a faithful reader and I, who both share a similar history in dysfunctional relationships, were talking about how the NBA season, to which nobody has paid attention to at this point, could desperately use a blockbuster trade to generate some interest.

Think about it.  How many NBA games this season have you watched in their entirety?  I’m an NBA junkie and I can’t say I’ve watched more than half a dozen.  That means you’ve watched less.

He and I discussed how a good, solid trade could shake things up.  Heck, David Stern used to engineer such trades to get people talking about his sport.  With football ending soon, we fans need something to keep us entertained while we pop our pops and scratch our crotches.

LeBron homeThe NBA usually fits that bill.  On top of that, LeBron James heading home was supposed to bring more attention to the sport.

So far, it hasn’t.

One-third of the way into the season, his Cleveland Cavaliers are treading water, a disappointing three games over .500.  LeBron’s been out with a knee injury.  Over that span, they’re 1-5.  They just lost to the Sixers.  It was only Philadelphia’s fifth win of the season.

But have no fear.  The Cavs just pulled off that blockbuster trade that will make everything better.

(Sense the sarcasm)

JR Smith is now a Cleveland Cavalier.

In a three-team, six-player deal, JR Smith ended up with a locker right next to the King and allegedly the Chosen One signed off on the deal.

Now don’t get me wrong.  Smith can put the biscuit in the basket.  Well, at least he could.  When he played in Denver years ago, he was a human highlight reel, jumping out of the gym and scoring with far more efficiency than he does now.  Since then, the only thing efficient about Smith is his inefficiency.  He’s a head case of a player that for all intents and purposes is not someone you want on your roster as you chase after a championship unless you have a) a solid foundation, which the Cavs don’t or b) a head strong head coach, which they don’t have either.

JR SmithIn his eleventh year in the league, Smith is putting up career lows in both scoring and field goal percentage.  The guy has regressed as a player.  The Knicks have to be ecstatic he’s left the building.  Now he’s LeBron’s problem.


The greatest of the great have always been able to temper personalities, egos, etc.  Jordan could but he also had the help of Phil Jackson on the sidelines.  LeBron is not Jordan and David Blatt is clearly no Jackson.  In fact, Blatt has barely more NBA wins than Jackson has championships.

And so the experiment begins, one I can’t help but think will end in failure.

Look, nobody expected the Cavaliers to win an NBA title in LeBron’s first season back.  But in the East, one would think they’d at least be able to contend.  If the playoffs started today, the Cavs wouldn’t even have home court advantage.

In case you couldn’t tell, consider me iffy on the whole ordeal.  I’m assuming the Cavs will look to Smith to give them some scoring off the bench.  Considering he has come off the bench for the majority of his career that might be a boost he’ll be able to provide.   But Smith is also accustomed to minutes and that might not be something he’ll see too much of in Cleveland.  Smith likes to shoot the ball and the last thing ANYONE wants to see is Smith launching more shots than LeBron.

That simply won’t work… which is why this JR Smith experiment won’t work either.

I wasn’t convinced the Cavs would win a title in LeBron’s first season back but I didn’t rule it out.  I have now.  Ultimately, this will end badly.  There may be a honeymoon, a winning streak where LeBron and Smith hug it out after a timely game-winning jumper.  But this team has fifty more regular season games to get to know one another, something they clearly haven’t done yet.  This is a team of veterans who are capable of coexisting but have little experience doing so.  And that’s what wins championships.  Just ask any team with a ring.

The city of Cleveland hasn’t experienced a major professional championship in over fifty years.  The arrival of JR Smith only means they’ll have to wait one year longer.

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15 Replies to “Coexistence and the difficulties that lie within: JR Smith lands gig with the Cleveland Cavaliers”

  1. God created the world in seven days and it’s becoming obvious that Phil Jackson is no frigging deity , but yet as#holes were hyping him up as being able make the Knicks relevant this season. Explain to me then , how this team has been win-less over their last thirteen games and whatever gave you the impression Jackson had the wherewithal to actually make the Knicks tick ? I mean you suggested as much concerning his acumen with an earlier comment from an earlier piece contributed and commented on ?

    Phil is a great coach and motivator, but when it comes to assessing talent he’s not even on par with Gregg Popovich .

    Jackson may well be hoping he can sign a marquee agent next season but it won’t be happening even with the current core there , unless there’s a major salary dump , much like the Nets now seem to be intent on doing .

    Tophatal ……….

  2. JR Smith is a paranoid schizophrenic , much like his game . As to Iman Shumpert , well let’s just say good riddance to a piece of crap that wasn’t worth the light of day or an NBA paycheck . Everyone jumped on the LBJ bandwagon but what they forgot the team had a rookie coach with no damn NBA experience . David Blatt ? Wasn’t Larry Brown returning the calls from the Cavs’ front office ?

    GM David Griffin and Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert have spent way too much time drinking the Kool-Aid concerning their own acumen and the Quicken Loan mantra (Gilbert’s company [he founded]) . Gilbert’s recent track record on head coaches is bewildering to say the very least .

  3. Dion Waiters isn’t exactly stable either…I understand LeBron and JR have history going back to high school so there’s that for what it’s worth. Shumpert adds much needed defense for the Cavs, who despite 3 All NBA First Team talents, are underwhelming thus far…Even rumblings of K-Love second guessing the move to Cleveland…And with Varajao out they still need a big. Personally I’d like nothing more than to see it all blow up in Dan Gilberts fucking face since he was one of the voices that caused Stern’s veto. ….Karma bitch.

    Initial reports had Reggie Jackson going to the Knicks from OKC, but turned out to be false…Phil missed on that one. He cleared some cap space, but not much else.

    I’m hopeful on two fronts;
    1. Cleveland implodes making Love and LeBron possible free agents next year.
    2. Dion Waiters keeps jacking up jumpers with no regard for human life. That way, Kevin Durant watches Westbrook and Waiters cranking up shots that USED to be his.

    As always with my takes, all roads lead back to LA…The more these trades cause trouble for the Cavs and OKC, the deeper the free agent market is for the ready-to-spend Lakers of 2015/2016.

    Fingers crossed.

  4. Bleed Explain the comment Shumpert adds some much needed defense for the Cavs? How so ? Have you seen this kid play ? His defense ranks up there alongside the French military’s effort against the Germans’ siege of Paris during WWII.

    At best he’s sporadic .

  5. Chris

    I know where your allegiances now lay when it comes to Urban Meyer , but should he and the Buckeyes prevail in their game against Oregon , will there be grudging admiration by yourself and other Gators’ alumni should the achievement take place ?

    Tophatal ……..

  6. He is, D.

    And his numbers are down.

    Like I said, it’s a long NBA season and anything can happen but this team isn’t exactly meshing yet.

    Not too sure they will with the addition of Smith.

  7. Bleed…

    You crack me up. Always a light at the end of your Tinseltown Tunnel.

    It’d be a coup if this team broke up after only one year. I don’t see that happening but you never know. And I didn’t know that BronBron and Smith had a history that runs that deep. We’ll see if that matters.

    I heard today that they’re looking to sign Mozgov. I wonder if they’re gonna also to look to sign Blake Griffin to dunk over him.

  8. Al…

    A national championship by Urban Meyer this year would go down as one of his greatest accomplishments but none of us can really be surprised by his success.

    The guy is a damn good coach.

  9. Chris JR Smith a paranoid schizophrenic with multiple personalities . Were you a general manager , would you want him on your team bearing mind his disorders and lack of real productivity ?

    Thoughts on Curt Schilling’s claims for his being overlooked as a worthy candidate for the Hall of Fame ? He states he believes it’s because he’s an avowed Republican but then he goes on to claim without any proof , that John Smoltz got in because he’s a Democrat. LOL,LOL,LOL !!! Damn , does that mean Craig Biggio got in because he’s of Italian heritage , Randy Johnson , because he’s a lanky ba$tard and Pedro Martinez because of his Hispanic heritage ? Schilling has always been a crass @sshole without an iota of intelligence .

    Urban Meyer can coach and recruit , but he remains a sleazy ba#t@rd and self-absorbed prick .

    Tophatal ……….

  10. Bleed

    I don’t claim to know everything, but pray do tell, point to facts concerning Shumpert’s play ? I mean one can only assume his productivity were it not mediocre he’d still be part of Phil’s plans rather than Prigioni still being on the Knicks’ roster ?

    Tophatal ………..

  11. Al…

    I think Schilling deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He’s one of the most clutch post-season pitchers we’ve seen in recent years. Plus his career numbers are pretty solid.

    He’s a kook tho so they’re making him wait.

    The bottom line on Shumpert and Smith is that they’re going to have to coexist on that second team. If they can provide a spark off the bench, the Cavs will be just fine.

    If there’s drama, they might be an easier out than we once thought.

  12. @Bleed, LOL and let’s go Lakers… they are going to need all the help they can get… whenever that comes around… and it will likely be after they ‘retire’ Kobe against his will.

    @ Al, you are the perfect one to label someone else as “paranoid schizophrenic” ROFLOL… And with ADD too… Snort… and soooo smart…LOL BTW the proof that Phil Jackson is smarter is that he got rid of perennial malcontent JR Smith… not much to second guess there… go ahead and feel free to change the subject… again

    @ Chump, Keep you focus lad…your site benefits… This thread WAS about JR Smith and basketball… until Al highjacked it as usual… now you’re rapping about football (GO BUCKEYES!!!) and baseball (Schilling is seen as tainted by PED’s so in today’s hypocritical mindset he’ll never be let in the HoF since the hypocrites rule the day)

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