VIDEO: Nikita Kucherov goes full JR Smith mode after Stanley Cup Finals win
In a Stanley Cup Finals that is already memorable in its own right, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov made it even more unforgettable with his best JR Smith-like celebration.
After the Lightning completed their Stanley Cup title defense to become the first team to go back-to-back since the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016, Kucherov was clearly ecstatic and emotional after the win. In fact, he went to his presser shirtless before chugging a can of beer.
Kucherov was simply happy, and that is obvious as he was also at a loss for words in describing the moment.
Nikita Kucherov not holding back in his post-game. Legendary press conference. pic.twitter.com/6hA9KvpgPE
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) July 8, 2021
That’s full JR Smith vibes right there.
For those unaware, Smith also went on a shirtless celebration during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2016 NBA title win. He was spotted not just once, but multiple times–in a Las vegas party and during the Cavs’ parade–going shirtless and chugging beers here and there.
J.R. Smith, ladies and gentlemen. pic.twitter.com/VILj1X5e35
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) June 20, 2016
Nikita Kucherov has every right to do what he wants and celebrate in way he thinks is fitting, though. After all, he was crucial for the Lightning in securing the 4-1 series win against the Montreal Canadiens in 2021 Stanley Cup Finals.
The 28-year-old Russian winger missed the whole 2020-21 NHL season due to a hip surgery. However, he came back just right in time for the postseason, tallying 32 points from eight goals and 24 assists throughout the playoffs. In their 1-0 win in Game 5, Kucherov also had five shots on target–which is the most for the team.
Will Kucherov spend the rest of the Stanley Cup celebration shirtless? Well, don’t be surprised if he does!