Being on the same team as LeBron James means facing intense scrutiny, with his teams expected to win championships every year.
JR Smith understands this better than anyone. During an appearance on Game Theory with Bomani Jones, Smith shared his experience of playing on LeBron’s team.
“Playing with Bron is both a gift and a curse,” he said. “I love playing on his team because I feel like I thrive under pressure, but some guys don’t like it.”
Smith has faced heavy criticism while being James’s teammate, particularly during Game 1 of the 2018 Finals when he dribbled out the clock instead of attempting a shot at the basket to win in regulation.
That brain fade wasted LeBron’s incredible 51-point night and resulted in the famous meme where James looked at Smith pure exasperation.
Meme of the year: LeBron and JR Smith pic.twitter.com/Nrj5KJGin9
— NOTSportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) July 19, 2018
“He missed a free throw too,” Smith said of the game. “Don’t just look at me because I missed a open shot. We all missin’ out here!”
"He missed a free throw too. Don't just look at me because I missed a open shot. We all missin' out here!"
— Game Theory with Bomani Jones (@GameTheoryHBO) March 7, 2023
He added that playing with King James definitely isn’t for everyone.
“There will always be a supporting cast of players who aren’t performing well, and if you can’t handle that, it will eat you alive,” he said.