J.R. Smith Speaks on His Familiarity With LeBron James: 'I Know How 'Bron Can Get Pissed at Me' - Lakers Daily

J.R. Smith Speaks on His Familiarity With LeBron James: ‘I Know How ‘Bron Can Get Pissed at Me’

J.R. Smith and LeBron James

New Los Angeles Lakers guard J.R. Smith will be reunited with LeBron James, with Smith’s connection to the superstar offering him a unique understanding of what upsets James.

Smith and James were teammates with the Cleveland Cavaliers for parts of four seasons from 2015 to 2018, with James having pushed for Smith’s acquisition from the New York Knicks in January 2015.

Prior to that deal, Smith had a checkered NBA history, with numerous missteps along the way seemingly overshadowing his talent. Cementing the trade was James’ insistence that he’d keep Smith in check.

That pledge by James largely worked out for the Cavaliers, with the team reaching the NBA Finals for four consecutive seasons. Smith’s 3-point shooting and his aggressive on-court approach played a part in that success.

Smith’s awareness of what angers James was never more evident than in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals, when Smith inexplicably lost track of the score in the final seconds of regulation. That resulted in James’ visible anger toward him and eventually led to the Cavaliers getting swept in four games by the Golden State Warriors.

James signed with the Lakers after that season and Smith ended up as a pariah with Cavaliers management later that year when he criticized the Cavs’ perceived tanking of the 2018-19 season.

The 34-year-old Smith, who last played in November 2018, was eventually released last year by the Cavaliers, but remained available until the Lakers signed him.

Knowing how important championships are to James’ legacy, Smith is hoping to simply play basketball when play resumes later this month. Smith has 3-point capability and can torch the nets if he gets hot, something that could help make James’ quest to make the Lakers champions a reality.