Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith has become one of the most recognizable faces on his team. Whether it be fall-away three-point shots raining from beyond the arc or his shirtless march through Cleveland’s championship parade, Smith has become an unmistakable figure – both on and off the basketball court.
Through Cleveland’s first 12 games of the season, Smith (1,708 made threes) is averaging 10.1 points and 2.3 rebounds in 31 minutes per game. Furthermore, he’s knocking down the three-ball at a 39.2% clip and currently ranks 15th on the NBA’s all-time three-pointers made list behind Dale Ellis (1,719).
After Ellis, Peja Stojakovic (1,760), Rashard Lewis (1,787), Kobe Bryant (1,827), and Chauncey Billups (1,830) all stand in Smith’s path to a top ten spot amongst the league’s career three-point field goals ladder.
That kind of marksmanship from the perimeter has to garner an invite to the NBA’s All-Star weekend festivities, right? Well, maybe.
Smith, 31, does have a bit of a reputation in the NBA, which could be holding back his debut in the three-point contest. Over the years, Smith has racked up over $100,000 worth of fines and has been suspended for 29 games.
Despite previous infractions, Smith has made a conscious effort to improve his standing in the eyes of referees and fans alike. His efforts seem to be working, but Smith feels it might not be enough to change previous opinions.
The mercurial shooter spoke to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal with regards to the possibility of receiving an invite to this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend, saying:
“It’s going to be what it’s going to be.”
“I’ve always considered myself as one of the best shooters, but to actually have the numbers to back it up, I mean, it’s something I rarely think about. Especially when I see (LeBron) passing everybody every night. I guess you stick around long enough and make enough shots, you pass somebody.”
This season’s NBA All-Star competitions will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana, starting on February 17th. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love will all be leading candidates on the ballot for this year’s Eastern Conference All-Star team. Will Smith finally get the nod for his first NBA All-Star Weekend appearance?