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LeBron James’ former teammate J.R. Smith says that playing with James can “eat you alive.”
Smith played with James for four seasons in Cleveland and said on the latest episode of Game Theory with Bomani Jones, that the expectations that come from playing on his team can be crushing.
Credit where credit is due: congrats to Bomani Jones for getting something newsworthy out of his show that no one watches.
“Honestly, it’s a gift and a curse with playing with Bron,” Smith said. “I love Bron to death and I loved playing on his team because, for me, I feel I thrived more under the pressure.”
I mean, things worked out for them in the end, but someone who forgets the game is tied doesn’t seem like someone who thrives under pressure.
Nonetheless, Smith and LeBron reunited in 2020 with the Los Angeles Lakers. They spent a couple of months at Disney World together during the 2020 NBA Playoffs en route to another championship.
Smith Said Not Every player Is Cut Out To Be Teammates With LeBron
Smith went on to concede that not every one of his teammates would feel the same about playing with LeBron.
“But a lot of guys don’t like it because it can go one of two ways,” Smith said. “It’s either, what did you not do to help him win? And, who else didn’t help to not help him win?”
Smith said that being on a team with LeBron requires a large degree of mental fortitude,
“It’s always gonna be that supporting cast of who’s not doing what, and if you’re not built for that, not made for that, it’s gonna eat you alive,” he said.
Well if that’s the case, why wouldn’t LeBron try to take some of the heat off his teammates? Would it hurt to not make himself the center of attention all the time?
Perhaps that would help his teammates elevate their game. Not feeling as much of this pressure like Smith talks about.
Meh, why stop now?
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle