J.R. Smith was the center of controversy after a play during last season’s playoff matchup against the Boston Celtics. The NBA suspended him two games for this hit to Jae Crowder.
This came in the same game that Kelly Olynyk pulled Kevin Love’s shoulder out of its socket and shut him down for the remainder of the postseason. At the time, Boston was down 3-0 and was trailing in Game 4.
ESPN’s Chris Forsberg interviewed Crowder before the Cavs and Celtics faced off, and here’s what he had to say regarding the play ahead of Tuesday’s matchup between the two.
“I hope he apologizes [Tuesday], to be honest with you,” said Crowder. “I hope it wasn’t intentional. But if he doesn’t [apologize], then we’ll play ball.”
When a reporter proceeded to ask if he thought Smith’s hit was a cheap shot, Crowder simply said again:
“I hope he apologizes tomorrow. But if he doesn’t, we’ll play ball.”
Crowder avoided any serious injury to his knee, suffering a sprained ACL that required a few weeks of rehab before he could resume basketball activities.
“Luckily nothing happened [that needed to] be surgically repaired,” Crowder said. “I was just able to get back on the court at the beginning of this year and work with my team to achieve a goal, and that’s to get back where we were last year.
Apparently, J.R. smith had not apologized for the incident that is now almost seven months old. It may have been a bit of a cheap shot, but it was all relative to the extremely physical play that was shown by both sides during that Game 4.
After beating the Celtics and hearing that Crowder wanted an apology for the hit, Smith reacted, and Fox Sports Ohio has the clip:
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) December 16, 2015
So it looks as if Smith will not be apologizing to Crowder anytime soon. The next meeting between these two teams is on February 5, 2016 at 7:30 PM EST at Quicken Loans Arena, where Kelly Olynyk is sure to get an arena-full of boos.