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J.R. Smith

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J.R. Smith
JR Smith
No. 5 – Cleveland Cavaliers
Position Shooting guard
League NBA
Personal information
Born September 9, 1985 (1985-09-09) (age 31)
Freehold Borough, New Jersey
Nationality U.S. Flag American
Physical stats
Listed height 6 ft 6 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight 225 lbs (113 kg)
Career information
High school St. Benedict's Prep
(Newark, New Jersey)
NBA Draft 2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18th
Selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers
Pro career 2004–present (13 years)
Career history
2004–2006 New Orleans Hornets
2006–2011 Denver Nuggets
2011–2012 Zhejiang Golden Bulls (China)
2012–2014 New York Knicks
2014–2015 New York Knicks / Cleveland Cavaliers
2015–present Cleveland Cavaliers
Career highlights and awards
  • NBA champion (2016)
  • NBA Sixth Man of the Year (2013)
  • CBA scoring champion (2012)
  • CBA All-Star (2012)
  • McDonald's All-American Game Co-MVP (2004)
  • Second-team Parade All-American (2004)

Earl Joseph "J.R." Smith III (born September 9, 1985) is an American professional basketball player who plays at Shooting guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

High School

Before attending high school, Smith attended Millstone Middle School and graduated in 1999. From there, he moved on to Steinert High School and McCorristin Catholic High School before transferring to Lakewood High School. Smith played high school basketball for the first time at Lakewood High School. He would later transfer to Saint Benedict's Preparatory School and play basketball there as well. During his career there, he would average over 27 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. In the fall of 2003, Smith signed a letter of intent to play at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In April 2004, following a 25-point performance at the McDonald's All-American Game (in which he was named game co-MVP with Dwight Howard), Smith decided to forgo college and declare himself eligible for the NBA Draft.

NBA

J.R. was selected eighteenth overall, in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft, by the New Orleans Hornets—one of nine players who were drafted that year straight out of high school.

New Orleans Hornets

In his rookie season, Smith averaged 10.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Smith participated in the Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk Competition in 2005, finishing behind Amar'e Stoudemire and the eventual winner, Josh Smith. The Hornets finished the season at 18–64 and failed to qualify for the playoffs. Smith was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month three consecutive times in January-March of 2005.

In his second season in New Orleans, Smith saw his numbers decline across the board, averaging 7.7 points, 2 rebounds and 1.1 assists. The Hornets spent part of the season in Oklahoma City because of Hurricane Katrina. The Hornets finished 38–44, helped by the playmaking ability of rookie Chris Paul; despite the 20-game improvement, they still missed the playoffs.

Denver Nuggets

On July 14, 2006, the Hornets traded Smith and forward–center P.J. Brown to the Chicago Bulls for center Tyson Chandler. On July 20, Smith was traded again, this time to the Denver Nuggets for guard Howard Eisley and two 2007 second-round draft picks.

On December 16, 2006, Smith was involved in the Knicks–Nuggets brawl. The brawl began when Mardy Collins flagrantly fouled Smith on a fast break. Smith was suspended for 10 games. On February 20, 2007, Smith suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee which required knee surgery. He missed several weeks. Smith averaged 13 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists in his first season with the Nuggets.

Smith's first trip to the playoffs during the 2006–07 NBA season, with the Nuggets, proved disappointing. Smith, a 39% three-point shooter during the regular season, failed to connect on any three-point shots in the first four games and was criticized for poor decision-making by coach George Karl. After game four, Karl informed reporters of his plan to bench Smith for all of game 5. Karl said, "He's done," and explained his frustrations over Smith's poor judgment to shoot a three late in the game, "I have no idea what planet that came from." Karl told the Associated Press that he had drawn up the play to give the ball to either Allen Iverson or Carmelo Anthony. Karl did not stop there and continued venting over Smith's poor play, "And then, of course the one with eight seconds to go, from 50 feet, I just love the dignity of the game being insulted right in front of me."

On October 13, 2007, Smith was involved in an incident at a Denver nightclub. The Nuggets suspended him for the first three regular season games of 2007–08 NBA season for his role in the incident. During the season, Smith averaged 12.3 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.

On January 1, 2015, New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder made trio-trade for the seven players: Samuel Dalembert, Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith from New York Knicks to Cleveland Cavaliers; Lou Amundson and Langston Galloway (return) from Cleveland Cavaliers to New York Knicks; Dion Waiters from Cleveland Cavaliers to Oklahoma City Thunder; Lance Thomas from Oklahoma City Thunder to New York Knicks.

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