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JR Smith Says Goodbye To LeBron James, 3 Weeks After The King Moved To Los Angeles Lakers

By Paul John Rivera
on Jul 23, 2018 07:54 AM EDT
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Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard JR Smith
Cleveland Cavaliers JR Smith developed a rocky relationship with LeBron James during their time in The Land. Smith finally reacted to James' decision after remaining silent about it for three weeks. (Photo : Erik Drost | Wikimedia Commons)

Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard JR Smith had a very late reaction to arguably the biggest free-agency news this summer.

Smith finally reacted to the departure of former Cavaliers superstar LeBron James. The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player decided to move to the Los Angeles Lakers, ending his almost four years of partnership with Smith in Cleveland, where they won a championship together.

All Is Well Between James And Smith

Smith was quiet after James announced his decision to move to Los Angeles unlike other Cavaliers such as Kevin Love and Cedi Osman. It led to speculation that the relationship of James and Smith was tainted because of the poor decision of the former during Game 1 of their 2018 NBA Finals series against the Golden State Warriors.

Smith went under fire after he decided to dribble and run the clock out in Game 1, thinking that they were on the lead. The game was tied, and his decision led to an extra period, where the Warriors eventually took over, wasting the 51-point performance of James.

According to Cavaliers Nation, it appears there is no bad blood between the two after Smith broke his three-week silence about James' departure. The sweet-shooting guard posted of a photo on Instagram, showing him and Tristan Thompson helping James get up from the court.

 Thanks bro @kingjames A post shared by  JR Smith (@teamswish) on Jul 22, 2018 at 7:21am PDT

James Recognizes Smith's Value In Cleveland

Smith's appreciation post about James did not go unnoticed, as the new Lakers superstar responded: "My G! (Praying hands emoji). #FamilyTies (100 percent emoji)." While most fans will remember the Game 1 moment involving James and Smith, it is worth noting that James once pushed for a new deal for Smith.

Following their title campaign in 2016, Smith became a free agent, and there were uncertainties about his future in Cleveland. However, the veteran shooting guard found a huge backer, as James opted to pressure the Cavaliers to sign Smith to a four-year, $57 million contract.

"Negotiations are always two sides, but JR did his part," James said in 2016 via New York Post. "He showed up every day. Worked his ass off every day. Became a two-way player, a model citizen in Cleveland and he's a fan favorite, obviously we all know that."

The 32-year-old shooting guard played a big role for Cleveland during their 2016 NBA Finals series against Golden State. He averaged 10.6 points with 2.3 three-pointers per game, helping the Cavaliers erase a 1-3 deficit to win their first championship in franchise history.

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