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Lakers’ JR Smith reveals his only teammate beef over course of 16-year career

JR Smith, Lakers

JR Smith is known for many things, for his tendency to celebrate championships shirtless to being one of the most prolific three-point shooters the NBA has seen. The 35-year old has also been well-liked by his teammates throughout his career, with his influence rubbing off on some of his teammates with the Los Angeles Lakers after they won the title earlier this month. Smith is also among the most animated players on the Lakers bench to celebrate the success of the other Lakers players, so it’s hard to see him beefing with a teammate. 

The former Sixth Man of the Year, however, revealed that he disliked just one teammate over the course of his 17-year career: Sam Dekker. Dekker is currently playing in Turkey, but was in the league for four seasons from 2015-2019, which included a brief stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018, where he became Smith’s teammate. 

In an appearance on the All Things Covered podcast with Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden, the two-time NBA champion revealed why he never got along with Dekker, who also played for the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Washington Wizards before finding his way overseas. 

Smith didn’t go into specifics about what exactly it was that Dekker said, but did mention something about his former teammate’s attitude about not helping elevate another person: 

“He’s a person who’s very aware of somebody else’s circumstances and wanna keep him there as opposed to trying to help him elevate up, and i don’t respect anything about that.” 

While details of their disagreement were unclear, it seems remarkable that Smith only disliked one teammate throughout his 17-year career which included stints with the New Orleans Hornets, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, the Cavaliers, and the Lakers.

Whatever their misunderstanding was, it hopefully has been resolved before they parted ways.