Coaches always tell players to ignore the other guys and play their game. JR Smith clearly believes in this approach, not letting the fact he’s playing in China instead of Denver stop him from staying focused to his core competency of making trouble off the court. He’s managed to go from high profile signing to well known trouble maker in less than a full season with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association.
The latest setback for Smith, the highest paid player in the CBA at $3 million for the season, is a knee injury that led him to leave the team without permission to seek additional medical attention. But don’t worry, that unauthorized leave is unlikely to cost him his job since the team was already considering cutting him for being too high maintenance. Here’s how China Daily described the situation:
Accorring to Zhao Bing [the club manager], the club had provided Smith with a presidential suite at a cost of 6,880 yuan per day, arranged a special chef and spent 700,000 yuan in insurance as he requested. However, he wanted another villa in Shanghai or Hangzhou with a chauffeured car to commute for training in Yiwu.
Ding Wei, the team’s head coach, also disclosed that Smith has missed training three times with illness excuses. And the team discovered that once he was actually shopping in Shanghai.
When questioned about his latest unauthorized leave on Twitter Smith responded that the team manager should “find another profession,” which won’t help his case.
It’s clearly time for the NBA to resolve their labor issues so JR can get back tot he Nuggets and doing embarrassing things off the court in the good old US of A.