Veteran guard J.R. Smith is set to embark on his 14th-year in the NBA, but the talk of retirement is something that is far from his mind at this point of his career.
Ahead of Friday night’s matchup against the Indiana Pacers, the 32-year-old spoke to the media where he said he has his eyes squarely focused on reaching 20 seasons played in the NBA.
— Nikki Goel (@Mr_NikkiG) October 6, 2017
“Absolutely. There are very few people that to get to 20. I always wanted to play 20 years in the league so I’m not going to able do this if I’m not injury free and stay healthy. I got to keep slipping through these cracks and maybe I can do it.”
This is a feat that only four players in the league have accomplished in league history. In fact, Dirk Nowitzki is set to become just the fifth player to do so this upcoming season. It’s not entirely out of the question for Smith, but it’s certainly a hard task to reach because of the physical wear and tear that build up over the duration of a career that spans two decades.
For the most part, Smith has been able to avoid any significant injury heading into the back end of his career. He has been able to remain relatively healthy, which could bode well for him over the next several seasons.
What may also work in his favor is that he hasn’t been asked to carry a significant offensive role as this could lessen the physical toll of a long NBA career. Ultimately, this will lie on how he feels physically from this point forward as he clearly still has the desire to play for much longer.