Ex-Lakers teammate JR Smith calls playing with LeBron James “is a gift and curse”

The four-time NBA Finals MVP, LeBron James is without a doubt among the all-time greats in terms of player performance in the NBA. This legendary athlete surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to become the league’s all-time leading scorer this year. 

A key contributor to his team’s success, James often helped out his teammates. So, it is basically the ambition of each and every NBA player to compete with this record-setting great at some point in their careers.

What did JR Smith tell about playing with LeBron James?

JR Smith, the winner of two NBA championships, recently confessed his experience of playing along with one of the great NBA players, ex-lakers LeBron James. Surprisingly, the Lakers remarked on this experience as both “a gift and a curse”. 

Smith, who played with LeBron James for the Cleveland Cavaliers, made this comment on HBO’s popular show ” Game Theory with Bomani Jones”. He also jokingly mentioned the heavy pressure of playing along with James and remarked that the pressure can actually eat people alive.

LeBron James

Playing with James is undoubtedly a great blessing for Smith as he won both of his NBA Championship with him. James also disclosed on the show that he always loves playing alongside James as he feels more pressure to put in all his efforts while playing with him.

However, the “curse” part came because of the infamous moment that happened between these two in 2018. Smith had always been scrutinized for his “mental mistake” as this player seemingly forgot the scores and failed to score in the last seconds. This unfavorable condition resulted in a tied game where James ended with 51-8-8 and the Warriors grabbed the win with 124-114.

Though Smith explained that he was not conscious of the score, he had to face huge criticism for this unexpected situation as fans bombarded him with negative comments and many memes were circulating based on this incident. 


That we all go through rough patches is something that Smith brought up in the episode as he reminded us that Smith too had bad times but his one missed shot made a great fuss. 

However, that incident didn’t slow down their progress as James and Smith won a title against the Heat in the following year. These two recorded becoming the leading scorer of the NBA last month.

Playing with James adds to the pressure because everyone is rooting for these teams to win the championship. Therefore Smith’s sentence is hardly a surprise!

What do you think about Smith’s comment? Tell us in the comments. We want to hear from you.


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Maliha works as a content writer in Sportszion specializing in NFL and NBA. She has completed her graduation and post-graduation, majoring in MIS (Management Information Systems). She loves analyzing sports and keeping fans updated with the latest sport buzzes.


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