JR Smith absolutely loved his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Not only did he win his first championship there, but their incredible 2016 title was also the first for the city. However, there’s one thing he “hated” about the whole run.
In a new interview, Smith opened up about his time in Cleveland and how special it was for him. However, he also shared that he didn’t like the way how it ended, especially since they could have dominated for many more years if they were able to keep their core.
“I had a great time in Cleveland. The fans were great, regardless of the meme or not. Winning that championship was something that will forever be in the history of basketball, but especially in the history of Cleveland, especially in the fashion that we did. I hated that it ended the way it did because I feel like that’s the only thing people harp on as much as we accomplished as a team,” Smith explained, via Hoops Hype.
“On top of that, we went to four straight (Finals) with obviously a dynasty in Golden State. Then, they acquired KD too. So that situation was a whole different dynamic. We lost Kyrie (Irving) too. So there were many variables. I’m thankful for my time in Cleveland. It was a great experience.”
The 2017-18 seasons was definitely quite a weird year for the Cavs. As JR Smith mentioned, they lost Kyrie Irving in the previous offseason, with the superstar guard demanding a trade out of Cleveland. It basically marked the beginning of an end for the team.
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LeBron James and co. then made it all the way to the NBA Finals, but in the end, they were just lacking against the Golden State Warriors and got swept. James then left in free agency and the Cavs’ golden era was over in just a snap.
True enough, it’s hard to blame Smith for thinking what they could have accomplished if the group stayed for a couple more years. Unfortunately, that will remain as one of the biggest Ifs in NBA history.