J.R. Smith Opens Up on Playing With LeBron James, Says He Can Be 'Intimidating' for a Lot of People - Lakers Daily

J.R. Smith Opens Up on Playing With LeBron James, Says He Can Be ‘Intimidating’ for a Lot of People

J.R. Smith and LeBron James

J.R. Smith is now officially a Los Angeles Laker, and unlike most of his new teammates, he has experience playing with LeBron James and knows him pretty well.

While talking to reporters on a video conference call on Monday, Smith said that James’ leadership can be tough to deal with for some.

“When you get a person on that level, it’s kind of intimidating for a lot of those people who don’t know how to challenge authority,” Smith said of the four-time MVP. “But that’s something I’ve never really had a problem with. So talking to him, getting [into] stuff like that, getting into tough conversations with our teammates, I think that’s the biggest thing. Because that’s the only way we grow as men and as a team.”

As a leader, James has a little bit of what Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant once had. The Akron, Ohio native isn’t above getting in the faces of teammates and challenging them to raise their games when needed.

Smith has been on the receiving end of James’ rage at least once. Infamously, he mistakenly dribbled out the clock in the last few seconds of Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals, not realizing that his Cleveland Cavaliers were tied and not leading.

Afterward, James was seen throwing a tantrum on the bench. After the game, the three-time NBA champ punched a blackboard in anger while inside the Cavs’ locker room.

Smith, 34, may not play much for the Lakers, and he may not be expected to be the efficacious streak shooter he was when he helped the Cavs make four straight trips to the championship series.