If you read this blog back in its heyday when I posted more than once a month, you know of my fondness for JR Smith. I mean the boy had Spongebob slippers that were 5 sizes too small for him, he bought his first house in New Orleans only to be kicked out of the master bedroom by his parents, and he read Harold and the Purple Crayon. How could you not love him? (Don't answer that, Byron Scott.) He was the living embodiment of the term 'childlike insouciance.'
Now 5 years later, for better or for worse, he still is. Note the grandstanding in the pictures above. Then, note the score and the time. Classic JR. He really can't help himself. Just look at his face in the picture on the right! That was right after he made a reverse dunk. Some people thought he was gloating over his old coach Bryon Scott, but he's actually signaling to someone on his own bench -- George Karl maybe? Is it mature? Hell no. Is it kind of an asshole thing to do? For sure. Is it totally and 100% JR? Absolutely! And he's loving every second of it.
Herein lies the difference between JR Smith and Carmelo Anthony. When JR's out there swaggering and acting a fool in the 4th, that's really JR just being JR. He's not going to apologize for himself...rather George Karl will be out there crying, "We're humble!" til he's all red in the face. (George Karl does not get blue in the face. Trust me, it gets red.) Melo, on the other hand...he's supposed to be top dog. In his postgame tonight, he even said,
"It is my house. What do you want me to say? Chauncey moved in with me."As top dog, the dog should wag the tail, meaning the team should take on the characteristics of their supposed leader. In Melo's case, the tail wags the dog. Right after JR started jacking 3s and made that reverse dunk, guess who wanted to take part in the fun and started shooting 3s himself. Mr. Chauncey-moved-in-with-me. If you're gonna walk the walk (strut the swagger?), have the balls to back it up. But Melo, in classic one punch and run away/the weed was in my bag but it's not mine Melo form, doesn't want to be seen as a bad guy. He's tough, mind you. See the tatts? Remember the cornrows? Stop snitchin? He's real, damnit! But don't worry, marketers. He's just as likable as Lebron or DWade, and he respects the Hornets. Umm, no you don't. Your four shots with a huge smile on your face with less than 5 minutes left and a 20 point lead show you don't. How many shots did Chauncey take during that same time? Zero. The thing is, I don't give a shit about that. If you want to run up the score and the other team isn't stopping you, go right ahead. But don't fucking apologize or give some lame ass, halfhearted excuse afterward. It's fake and insulting and not JR.
Basically, JR Smith > Carmelo Anthony.
Chauncey Billups on JR in his postgame:
"JR's definitely a work in progress. He's young. He has the ability to be a perennial All Star. He's our 6th starter and he plays with a starter's swagger."