There was a time when people badly wished that J.R. Smith acted in a more mature manner. A few years ago, when the mercurial guard was playing for the New York Knicks, his off-court actions made the headlines more often than his on-court talent.

Most infamous of them all was in 2013 when news about Smith’s controversial “pipe” DM was all over the internet.


Fast forward to today and J.R. Smith has transformed into a much better individual, thanks to a winning environment and a city with less-temptations. In a recent ESPN story by Sam Alipour, the Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard shared his reflections on that incident.

I was very immature and stupid. But I learned from it too: Watch what you say on social media.

Indeed, Smith is now light years away from his young and immature self.

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He has carved himself a niche in the Cavaliers’ scheme of things. He is playing alongside level-headed veterans who knows how to win. But most importantly, he knows that his role is treasured in a team that is trying to achieve something that is way bigger than anything Smith has ever played for, and that is bringing a championship to Northeast Ohio.