The 2013 National Basketball Association sixth man of the year, JR Smith, who currently plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers, is one of the most talked about people in the league for both his on-court and off-court activities.
The shooting guard, who started playing professional basketball straight out of High School after being selected by the New Orleans Hornets with the 18th overall pick in the first round of the 2004 NBA draft, is an NBA championship winner with the Cavaliers in 2016 and is known for his incredible three-point shots.
JR Smith’s Biography
JR Smith was born Earl Joseph “J. R.” Smith III on September 9, 1985, at Freehold Borough, New Jersey, USA, to his parents Earl and Ida Smith. He attended Millstone Middle School, having grown up in the area, the Clarksburg section of Millstone Township, New Jersey.
Smith attended a number of High Schools, including Steinert High School, McCorristin Catholic High School, Lakewood High School, and then Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School where he graduated from. It was however at Lakewood that Smith’s love for the game became obvious as he started playing high school basketball there. When he later transferred to St. benedicts prep, his game changed for the better and his performances got the attention of many colleges, most notably Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels. In 2003, he signed a letter of intent to play in the program but later changed his mind and declared himself eligible for the 2004 Draft following an MVP performance at the McDonald’s All-American Game where he scored 25 points. He was among nine players who went straight into the league from high school that year.
In his first season in the NBA, Smith was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for three consecutive months; January, February and March 2005. He participated in the Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk Competition that year and came third, finishing behind Amare Stoudemire and Josh Smith.
The standard JR Smith set in his first season was unfortunately not matched in his second full year. The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina could have played a role since the team had to play its games in Oklahoma City. Also, the drafting of Chris Paul meant that Smith’s role was cut even shorter as his stat line did.
For the 2006-07 season, the Hornets decided to trade Smith to the Chicago Bulls in a package with P.J. Brown for Tyson Chandler. He was subsequently moved on by the Bulls to the Denver Nuggets for two 2nd-round draft picks and Howard Eisley.
Smith’s time at Denver was full of ups and downs. Just a few months after signing on, The New Jersey native was involved in the infamous Knicks-Nuggets brawl which led to a 10-game suspension. Later on, in the season, he suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee but still managed to play a role in the playoffs that year. In October 2007, he was involved in an accident at a Denver nightclub which led to a three-game suspension. After that incident, Smith began to focus more on his game as he helped his team reach the playoffs, including a trip to the Western Conference Finals. In one season, he made the second-most three-pointers in the league off the bench.
JR Smith spent the 2011-12 season in China playing for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls due to the NBA lockout. He returned the following season and signed for the New York Knicks. In his second year with the Knicks, Smith was awarded the Sixth Man award. This made him a fan favorite as he was the first Knick since John Starks in the 1996–97 season to win the award.
On January 5, 2015, Smith alongside teammate Iman Shumpert were traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers where he found some stability beside Lebron James for the first time in his career. At Cleveland, he set the franchise playoff record of three-pointers with eight three-pointers made from the bench against the Atlanta Hawks. The team lost the 2015 NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors.
He re-signed with the team the following season and won his first and only Championship so far when the Cavaliers became the first team ever to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a series. He is also currently placed 11th on the NBA’s 3-pointers made list.
JR Smith’s net worth is around $20 million dollars. This is largely due to his quite lucrative NBA contract. With such amount of money in the bank, its only right that one spoils himself from time to time. In JR Smith’s case, he buys cars. He currently owns a number of luxurious vehicles including a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, a Ferrari 458, a Range Rover, an S550 and G550 Mercedes-Benz, and a Bentley Mulsanne.
JR Smith’s Family – Wife, Daughter, Brother
JR Smith comes from a large family. He has three brothers and two sisters. One of his younger brothers, Chris, played at Manhattan and Louisville before briefly featuring alongside him on the Knicks in the 2013–14 season. His other brother, Dimitrius plays football and is currently at Monmouth University.
In 2016, Smith married Jewel Harris. The couple has three daughters whose names are Dakota, Demi, and Peyton.
Quick Facts (Height, Weight)
Birth Name: Earl Joseph “J. R.” Smith III
Place of Birth: Freehold Borough, New Jersey
Date of Birth: September 9, 1985
Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
Marital Status: Married
Net Worth: $20 million