Penalty Shouts: J. R. Smith wants a trade

Credit: Anna Boyle/Art Editor Credit: Anna Boyle/Art Editor

This is the first week of The Tartan’s brand spanking new sports column, Penalty Shouts. Drawing inspiration from The New Yorker’s column Daily Shouts, this satire-fueled column will focus on anything and everything funny in the sports world. The column will be a short piece each week — we would never interrupt the regularly scheduled programming of The Tartan — about something, or somebody, in the sports world that is deserving of our comedic attention.

Our first Penalty Shout goes out to J.R. Smith for publicly discussing a potential trade from the Cavaliers, in spite of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Smith did an interview after another game spent on the bench smoking a joint, and with bright, red eyes and a bushy tail, he said, “I deserve to play, I need to be traded.” The 33-year-old shooting guard averages seven points a game in seven games played this season; his contract is worth $14.5 million, and the three-point shooting and controversy-sparking player has hit only a third of his threes so far this season.

Smith started his first game of the season last Wednesday against the Thunder. The veteran had to earn his way back into the jam-packed, young roster of the Cavaliers, which features huge names, like Cedi Osman. In the game, he showed why the team needed him after missing a few threes, and frankly, the team is infinitely better with him, at least on the bench. That way, Smith can shout “Kobe!” whenever sharpshooter Jordan Clarkson shoots a deep fade-away two that caroms into the front row.

That said, it’s important for Smith to find happiness with, or without, the Cavaliers. Over the years, we’ve seen what happens when he doesn’t want to play for a team — take the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), for example. In the lockout season of 2011, Smith played for the Golden Bulls, but his agent “forgot” to include an opt-out clause in the contract for him to return to American basketball.

Now, Smith is stuck on the bench for a team that doesn’t see his true potential as the next (but older) Stephen Curry. Who else is going to shoot that many threes a game? J.R. can. Smith currently isn’t utilized to the fullest extent of his ability, and so he is fairly demanding the Cavaliers trade him to a team that will value his skills as the best player to towel sweat off Lebron’s forehead.

The public statement of the trade is what got Smith into trouble with the league. Players before Smith have talked to their team’s front office, but it takes a real dunderhead to actually tell the press, “I want a trade.” Even Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler has worked his way around the system, playing the league’s coy mistress to Smith’s bumbling buffoon. Eventually, by way of fax, the league office heard about the incident, and balded NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, started a rumor about the threat of a fine.

After hearing the threat to fine Smith for violating the collective bargaining agreement, Smith said, “Let him fine me. I’ll land a plane on his beautiful, bald, waxed head.” For the record, a plane could not land on Silver’s head. Other players around the league had comments to make the rumor of a fine for Smith. Butler said, “I would never publicly ask for a trade, but I wouldn’t mind if the Timberwolves sent my contract to another team in a series of roster changes for a player to be named later.” Boston Celtics point guard (and ex-teammate of Smith) Kyrie Irving asked, “How does the trade carousel work if the Earth is flat?” Another old teammate, Lebron James, now playing with the Lakers, had only one thing to say about the incident: “Who?”