J.R. Smith is married to Jewel “Shirley” Harris, and he is the father of three children with one on the way. Smith and Shirley married in 2016, and they frequently share their affection on Instagram.
Smith’s actions in game 1 of the NBA Finals became the focal point of controversy when he continued to dribble the ball as the clock ran out, robbing the Cleveland Cavaliers of a chance to score and win the game. The team then lost in overtime, making Smith the subject of mockery and anger on social media. The attention on Smith has some wondering about his family. Who is Smith’s wife? What’s their story?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. J.R. Smith Called His Wife ‘the Love of My Life’
The newspaper reports that LeBron James was overseas and not able to attend the wedding. In an Instagram post on Mother’s Day, JR Smith called Jewel the “love of his life.” He wrote, “#happymothersday to my Ladies! I love you all an couldn’t have gotten this far without the 3 of you! Grandma you were my all time favorite person, Mom you are my first Love, Wifey you are the Love of my life! Thank you ?? ps I Love You! ?❤️?”
Smith says that everything started going uphill after he married Jewel.
2. Smith & His Wife Have Three Children Together
On his Twitter profile page, J.R. Smith lists his three children: “Demi, Peyton an Dakota.” In April 2018, he wrote with a photo of two of his children, “Happy Birthday PeyPey! Big 9 love you baby girl!! #DaddysFirstTwin.” After one game some time ago, Demi Smith told ESPN of her dad, “I’m just proud of him because he made the championship without getting kicked off the team.”
One video he posted on Instagram showed him with Dakota. He joked, “She took my comforter so i took hers! ???”
With another photo in April, he wrote, “When you try not to get to close to your wife cause she’ll be pregnant ?? before they take the pic!! ???? Happy Easter ? to All!” In December 2017, Smith announced that his wife was expecting the couple’s fourth child, writing on Twitter, “Oh yea baby #4 We live!!! .We lit! ?????(She Pregnant) ??????.”
Daughter Demi helped Smith propose to Jewel, as evidenced by a video on Instagram, in which Demi gives her a ring and says, “Mommy, will you marry us?”
3. Smith Worked With His Father, Earl, on Masonry Projects While Growing Up & His Brother Played for the Knicks
In an interview he gave with the NBPA, Smith described how he worked as a laborer alongside his dad, Earl, until he was 17. “Working with his father, Earl, a mason contractor, Smith assisted on everything from senior citizen homes to Best Buy and Sports Authority locations—up until he was around 17 years old,” the site reports.
His father started building a new Team Swish store for his son, the site reported in 2016. “The store is very special,” Earl told the NBPA. “It’s a long time coming. It’s been 15 years since I’ve been working on this project here. And then with J.R. winning a championship, everything came full circle.”
Smith’s mother is named Ida. His younger brother, Chris Smith, played for the Knicks.
4. Smith Has Started Saving Money to Provide for His Family After the NBA
Fatherhood and marriage changed Smith, he told the NBPA. Whereas he didn’t watch his money as closely before, now he’s trying to save for the day that there is not an NBA career anymore.
“Now, I’m actually consciously trying to save, so we can live how we want to live after basketball. I’ve even sold a few things. More than anything, being in that dad role is more important now. I know I have to leave something for these girls. I don’t want to leave them with bills or anything,” he said to the NBPA.
On her Instagram page, Jewel calls herself a “proud wife,” writing, “Prayer, Family & Love. Isaiah 41:10??I wear many hats but a Proud Wife & Mother comes first! *Enjoy what I allow you to see* ?✌?” (Again, some stories on the couple refer to Jewel Harris as Shirley.)
Four days before the first game of the NBA Finals, Smith’s wife wrote on Instagram with a photo of him, “My Rock! My Ace Of spade! My World! @teamswish CONGRATULATIONS to a Real One! You have made it to 4 Finals in a row; that in itself is utterly amazing. You get a lot of darts tossed your way but somehow you always manage to catch them joints with your teeth. Keep being you and remain true to yourself no matter what bc this is what makes you so special. People on the outside only see the Glory & not the Guts that’s invested behind the scenes. All gravy baby because we know who holds tomorrow and its not one person that walks on the face of this earth that can change what’s meant for you to experience only God can! Like the scripture I sent you during halftime (Isaiah 41: 10-14) ? hold on to THAT! I am sooooooooooooo freaking proud of YOU! PS..I Love You ?”
5. J.R. Smith’s Daughter Dakota Was Born Prematurely
The couple’s third child was born five mothers prematurely. They opened up about the experience in an interview. Dakota only weighed 1 pound when she was born.
Shirley said, “Do what you have to do to save her life.” She blogged about the experience, writing, “Hi guys!! I miss communicating with you all, it feels like it has been forever since my last blog. We as a family have been NON-STOP since Dakota came home. When I say it went from zero to a hundred real quick..it did just that! Our lives were transformed from daily commutes to and from the hospital, always being out and about to a complete stand still. Not in any way, shape or form was this a bad thing; it was just a major adjustment…a complete 360.”
After the presidential election of 2016, Smith wrote on Instagram that he didn’t know what to tell his daughter. “How do you explain to this face what happen?” he wrote. “You can be a educated women in your field an not get the job because your a women or cause your black? How do you say ‘go try your best’ even though it won’t be good enough. How do I even feel confident sending her on play dates knowing the kids family voted for the racist, sexist person an I don’t know how they will treat her when she’s gone. How? Seriously How? I understand let go and let God! But damn!”