FJR Smith and Iman Shumpert revealed how they reacted when they were both famously traded from the New York Knicks to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015. In a one-on-one interview with Uninterrupted, Smith and Shumpert sat down to talk about the moment they found out about the trade.
“We get traded and I’ll never forget my heart dropped. I’m sick,” said Shumpert but once the two found out where they were going, their mood turned to a much happier one, “We’re going to Cleveland. Like we’re going, you looked at me like dog… I don’t think you see what I see, but we finna go get some jewelry.”
That they did as the Cavs won the NBA Championship against the Golden State Warriors in 2016, pulling off a 3-1 comeback to win one of the most improbable NBA championships of all time. Smith and Shumpert were key down the stretch, as JR Smith’s three-point shooting and Iman Shumpert’s lockdown perimeter defense or two of the biggest reasons why the Cavaliers ended up pulling off the upset.
In the 2016 NBA Finals, Smith averaged 37.3 minutes while putting up 10.6 points and 2.7 rebounds, while Shumpert averaged 18.3 minutes and recorded 3,o points and 1.6 rebounds. It would end up being both players’ first and only NBA championship, but the Cavs’ championship celebration is one of the most memorable ones in NBA history, a large reason is because of Smith himself.
Smith was seen all over social media and the championship parade celebrating without a shirt, so much so that then-president Barack Obama even called then Cavs head coach Ty Lue and said “Tell JR and everyone to put a shirt on.”
Without the Knicks making the trade, none of this may have happened.