It has now been almost two full years since we last saw JR Smith on an NBA basketball court. These days, the 36-year-old has been keeping himself busy as a student-athlete on North Carolina A&T's golf team. It seems, however, that if he had a choice, he would still be playing in the league right now.
This just isn't the case, though. And this could be because of the fact that there's some sort of conspiracy going on behind his back that has prevented JR Smith from returning to the NBA. Clearly, this is what he believes to be the case. When asked in a recent interview if he thought he was “blackballed” by the league in terms of his career, the two-time NBA champ responded affirmatively (h/t Complex Sports on Twitter):
“Yeah, a hundred percent,” Smith said. “Anybody can sit here and tell you that that’s a fact. You got those 30 teams. So the Top 3 people on each 30 team and exlude them. Give me the four through 15th men. Just the four through 15th. Name one of them that's better than me.”
It is clear that the one thing JR Smith has not lost all these years is his supreme self-confidence. In his mind, he firmly believes that not only is he still capable of playing in the league but that he could still potentially start as the fifth-best player on ANY team.
Smith then went on to claim that even league execs could be in on the conspiracy:
“I've worked out with these dudes,” he continued. “I've watched their GM come to me and ask me, ‘Why are you not playing?' You know why I'm not playing.”
According to Smith, he isn't the only victim here. He named a handful of other players that he feels have also suffered the same fate as he has:
“I feel like it's a whole genre that that happened to,” Smith said. “The Joe Johnson's who obviously still got game, still can play. Jama Crawford, still got game, still can play. Nick Young, still got game, still can play. Isaiah Thomas, still got game, still can play.”
J.R. Smith says he, Jamal Crawford, Isaiah Thomas, Nick Young and Joe Johnson have been blackballed from the NBA.
Link below for full #ComplexVolume story and interview with J.R. Smith.
🔗: https://t.co/HJEfAcMDgC pic.twitter.com/sR7XsSbztz
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) September 2, 2022
Is JR Smith actually on to something here? Or is this merely a case of a former NBA player just not having enough gas in the tank anymore to warrant a spot on any team in the league?