Is J.R. Smith’s career in Cleveland worthy to be deemed a local legend?


Former Cleveland Cavaliers player JR Smith sparked conversation when he attended the Cleveland Browns game on Saturday.

Do you think JR Smith is a Cleveland Cavaliers legend? That’s what some were wondering after he appeared Saturday to support the Cleveland Browns in their battle against the Baltimore Ravens. Smith was a fan favorite for a time in Cleveland, but has since spent 16 seasons in the NBA, winning two rings, including a 2016 Cavaliers title.

It usually takes 4 prongs to become a franchise legend. Awards, statistics, longevity and lingering love.

Smith spent about four seasons (part of five) in Cleveland, landing here near the end of the 2014-2015 season and winning the title the following year. He was primarily a 3-point shooter for the Cavaliers and from behind the arc during his tenure with the Cavaliers he recorded a 38% shooting completion percentage.

Of all the players who played seriously in the championship season, only Matthew Dellavedova shot from 3 more than Smith, and that team included Kevin Love, Moe Williams, Channing Frye, Joe Harris and Kyrie Irving. It was

Smith was also one of the key contributors to that year’s NBA Finals, helping the Cavaliers win their first title. Still, is a title enough to cement his status as a Cleveland Cavaliers legend?

J.R. Smith can’t be judged solely on the best results he’s had for the Cleveland Cavaliers…

As much as Smith was shooting in a championship year, it was by no means an irreverent percentage, but he was actually a bad offensive player for the Cavaliers. During his tenure, he posted -0.7 OBPM and three times was as good or worse than -1.8 OBPM.

He signed an unusual deal worth $57 million over four years. The deal was part of the reason the Cavs were unable to make the necessary moves as the season progressed, handcuffing the franchise to some extent.

Smith then served a one-game suspension in early 2018 for assaulting assistant coach Damon Jones with a bowl of soup.

Then, of course, there was the 2018 NBA Finals, and instead of attempting a game-winning shot to close out Game 1, Smith dribbled off the clock when LeBron James yelled at him, making him one of the biggest names in NBA history. Which led to one of the funniest memes: James looked completely confused when he pointed to the scoreboard.

James left Cleveland after that series, boiling over attitude issues surrounding Smith’s entire career.

In 2019, as the Cavaliers were looking to rebuild, Smith criticized the team and demanded a trade. After no one came to trade Smith, the Cavaliers nullified him. The Cavs felt he was a bad influence around his younger teammates.The Cavaliers waited until the summer to fire him.

Smith has made his move to win an NBA title, but does the good outweigh the bad? The Cavaliers didn’t need Smith. We needed a player like Smith. Kyle Korver, Williams, anyone, anyone. It didn’t have to be Smith. He was just an overpaid cog.

The team needed James and Kyrie Irving, but there’s a difference between needing a specific player and needing a role filled. Smith got the part, that’s it.

So those four prongs? Well, he won the ultimate NBA title in the awards category. So it’s one. Usually, before you can declare a franchise great, at least he needs two, if not three, prongs. As far as stats go, that’s a no, because he’s been a net-minus offensive player for the majority of his runs. A small amount inside. love that lasts? Some like him, others remember the soups, bad contracts and attitude issues that brought the team down.

No, Smith is not a franchise legend.



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