J.R. Smith admits to ‘frustration’ over losing starting spot to Dwyane Wade
Shooting guard J.R. Smith admitted to some frustration only days after newcomer Dwyane Wade was named the starter at his position. Smith had been the starter for the Cleveland Cavaliers for the last three seasons, with ups and downs during his tenure as the starting off-guard.
“We talked about it,” Smith told Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. “It wasn’t the most positive conversation, but we talked about it and we’ll get through it together.”
Smith noted he knew things were about to change once LeBron James seemed heavily invested in recruiting his friend Wade.
“Was pretty much bracing myself for it,” said Smith, who compared what happened with Wade to a situation he experienced with the New York Knicks. “[I] was working hard all summer and then coming in and not even really having a chance to earn my spot, but it’s alright. It is what it is.”
Dwyane Wade will allow the Cavs’ starting unit to have a more versatile player that can attack the basket, distribute, and wreak havoc on the floor, while Smith can now re-enforce the second unit while having a more prominent role than a standstill shooter.
“I actually like playing on the second unit better, said Smith. “I’m more of a playmaker and distributor and I handle the ball a little bit more instead of just running to the corner.”
Tristan Thompson; who recently lost his starting job to Kevin Love who had started at power forward the last three seasons, notes the sacrifices both will have to make to reach the NBA Finals for a fourth straight year.
“Me and J.R., we know what we’ve brought to this team, what we’ve done the last three years, being in three Finals,” Thompson said. “But at the end of the day, to win a championship you’ve got to sacrifice. We both know that and coming off the bench in that second unit, you gotta be a spark.”