JR Smith spoke on a podcast about what it’s like to play alongside LeBron James. The former champion with the Cleveland Cavaliers does not only see advantages in this.
“It’s both a curse and a blessing,” Smith said on the Game Theory with Bomani Jones podcast. “I love LeBron and I’ve loved playing with him because I thrive under pressure. But I know a lot of players who can’t and that can backfire.”
Smith cited the fact that LeBron’s teammates are often blamed for defeats as the reason for this, which the now 37-year-old believes is not always fair. “LeBron also misses free throws. You don’t just have to look at me because I missed an open three. That happens, everyone sometimes misses a throw,” said Smith.
In recent years in particular, this pressure has increased. “It’s very difficult for a lot of guys, especially in the age of social media. There are the pundits who freak out and just talk crazy stuff. You play for this team that’s 12th and 13th and yet everyone is just talking about that Team. It’s always said that the supporting cast can’t do this or that and if you can’t handle that, you’ll be eaten alive.”
This season, too, there was a lot of criticism of the Lakers’ supporting cast, but the Californians made improvements at the trade deadline. James is currently out injured, but the Lakers have made up ground of late to sit ninth in the Western Conference with a 32-34 record.