As part of the NBA’s ongoing effort to promote racial equality, they are allowing players to replace the name on the back of their jerseys with pre-approved statements designed to support the BLM movement and the black community in general.
LeBron James is choosing not to take part and will instead don his last name. Officially, James says it’s because it doesn’t “seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal.” But unofficially? It could be to help out his buddy J.R. Smith, the newest addition to the Lakers.
Last time we saw him share the court with Bron, it was during the 2018 Finals — the series where Smith made his infamous blunder. For anyone that knows anything about James’ tenure in Cleveland, you already know all about it.
Smith is finally reunited with LeBron, but it doesn’t mean he isn’t prone to making the same mistakes. His history of weird behavior (like the time he threw soup at an assistant coach) and cringe-worthy moments is certainly cause for concern.
And, who knows, maybe LeBron’s choice to keep his name on his jersey is to ensure the notorious shooting guard can easily find him on the court?
On a serious note, though, there is a lot of optimism about what J.R. brings to the table for L.A. Despite his past, nobody seems to have anything negative to say about the guy and Bron’s decision to not print a message on his jersey is probably for the exact reason he told us.
Still, it’s funny to think about Smith’s history with James and the Cavs, and how all of that might translate to L.A. Let’s just hope he can redeem himself in front of the entire world.