Cavs news: Kenyon Martin confirms Enes Kanter’s story about J.R. Smith
Earlier this week, Enes Kanter of the Oklahoma City Thunder had an interesting quote that took everyone by surprise. The 25-year-old claimed that J.R. Smith was the best player he’d ever seen in a pickup basketball game.
Kanter recently participated in pickup games with some of the NBA’s elite like Smith’s Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James, Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks to name a few.
With Smith playing against or with that kind of talent, Kanter’s comments were questionable, to say the least. However, Kanter’s claims have now been backed up by one of Smith’s former Denver Nuggets teammates, Kenyon Martin.
The BIG3 star, who is currently preparing to compete in the first-ever BIG3 Championship game in Las Vegas, spoke to ClutchPoints about a number of different topics. Martin made a point of it to confirm Kanter’s claim in our interview.
“I just want people to know I read a statement what Enes Kanter said the other day about J.R. Smith,” Martin said. “That is actual facts.”
“Actual facts,” Martin continued. “He’s the best player he’s ever seen in pickup basketball. Listen, J.R. can play, man. I’ve seen him torch people day in and day out in Denver. Like guys that are supposed to be good defenders. J.R. ran right through them. Like where they’re shooting from now with deep threes, J.R. was doing that years ago in Denver.”
Martin also shared a little tidbit about another former teammate. This time it was Kendall Gill, whom Martin played alongside with the then-New Jersey Nets and also played in the BIG3 this year.
“There’s so many stories, man. I saw Kendall Gill choke out Jim Mcilvaine in practice. I was a rookie. That was Jersey. Kendall choked Mcilvaine in practice. I was dying laughing.”
Much like how Anthony’s “Hoodie Melo” has become a thing of legend in terms of pickup basketball during the NBA offseason, the same thing appears to be building with Smith’s legacy.