Photo via V1.cn
Deadspin reports in a post titled "Please Get J.R. Smith Out Of China Before His Family Starts World War III" that Stephanie Smith -- this one -- was involved in another tussle, this time in that wonderful city that makes me want to kill myself every time I go there, Tianjin. One of the staffers at the game told a Sina reporter afterwards, "JR's sister really has an explosive temper. Even after getting ejected, she howled loudly and smashed stuff."
Here's a highlight video from Titan that touches on the incident. (I'll post a better video when it becomes available... as we speak, only the game's first half is online.) You can clearly see that it was a physical game all night, and Tianjin's strategy for defending Smith was apparently to get inside his head. Or his sister's, I suppose. The player charged with that task, Meng Xianglong, eventually fouled out, and said afterwards, "I didn't think [my tactics] were a big deal, I just executed our normal offense and defense, it was very ordinary."
Smith's team, Zhejiang, lost 112-104 to the fourth-worst team in the league. Smith left the court for a bit to attend to his sister -- to "protect" her (as reported by Chinese media) -- and apparently he wasn't himself when he came out for the fourth quarter (again, according to Chinese media). It should be pointed out though that he scored 37 points and went 19-for-22 from the foul line. Afterwards, Zhejiang's coach said it was "not convenient" to say why the team lost. Hmm. Here's the full quote from the above-linked Sina article:
About the loss, Zhejiang head coach Ding Wei was extremely displeased. Postgame, he said, "I was very satisfied with our players' performance, but some other factors led to our defeat, it's not convenient for me to say, I don't dare say, and I cannot say."
You know how it goes in sports: players who are high-maintenance are tolerated until the team begins to lose. And then?
Earlier this month, China Daily reported that "an insider from the Golden Bulls reveals that the team was planning to waive Smith, who has been too demanding." Too demanding, eh? Let's see...
According to Zhao Bing, the club had provided Smith with a presidential suite at a cost of 6,880 yuan per day, arranged a special chef and spent 700,000 yuan in insurance as he requested. However, he wanted another villa in Shanghai or Hangzhou with a chauffeured car to commute for training in Yiwu.
Oh, he's also making 3 million dollars. That's USD.
Oh, he pissed off some team officials recently by flying to Beijing without permission to get an MRI on his knee.
Oh, um, he's also been caught on shopping sprees in Shanghai when he was supposedly "ill." And when the rest of his team was practicing.
Did we mention the chauffeured car?
It's good to see Smith's making the most of his stay in China and living it up. You just know he's heard stories of God Shammgod's fate in the CBA and said, Nuh-uh... not gon' be me.