J.R. Smith did not take the court in Thursday night’s Game 4 of the NBA’s Western Conference finals between the Lakers and the Nuggets, but anyone who has followed the career of the mercurial Smith knows that a DNP-CD will not necessarily keep him out of the headlines or away from trending on social media.
Smith hit the tabloid sites because of a blossoming beef with the Canadian rapper and producer Tory Lanez, who included a dig at Smith on the song, “Sorry, But I Had To …” from the new album, DAYSTAR.
The lyric in question went:
J.R. Smith, it’s the pot that piss … And you the last cat that should talk about some shots that hit. ’Cause your performance and percentage, player … Rollin’, ridin’ benches, n****, I’m from the trenches.
“ you the last person to talk about shots that hit “ lmao Tory didn’t have to do jr Smith that dirty pic.twitter.com/gxWYa4M8mA
— John (@iam_johnw) September 25, 2020
After hearing that on Thursday, Smith responded with a call-out of Lanez: “I got time today too! He’s not even 30 stay in ya place lil a** boy. … Bust ya gun at a female you all types of [clown emoji].”
Lanez is 28 and has been listed as 5-foot-3, though he insisted on the new album that he is actually 5-foot-7.
JR Smith Trolled Lanez After Shooting Incident
So what caused Lanez to take potshots at Smith’s poor shooting? That goes back to the incident this summer in which singer/rapper Megan Thee Stallion accused Lanez of shooting her after she was injured in both feet. Lanez has denied her allegation and has not been charged with the shooting—though he did catch a charge on carrying a concealed weapon that night.
On Instagram, after the Stallion accusation, Smith wrote, “This clown shoots a female an y’all listening to his music like it’s OK!” The full post:
On the new album, Lanez address Stallion, saying, according to Complex.com, “Girl, you had the nerve to write that statement on that affidavit/Knowing I ain’t do it but I’m coming at my truest […] And I thought you was solid too, but look at how you doing me/Look at how you doing me, people trying to ruin me.”
JR Smith Has Struggled for the Lakers in the Bubble
It is probably not the best time for Smith to be defending his shooting ability, however. Smith was signed by the Lakers in June after guard Avery Bradley declined to participate in the NBA’s restart in Orlando and it has not gone particularly well. Smith had not played in the NBA since November of 2018, and the numbers have shown why.
The Lakers make it official that they have signed guard JR Smith as a substitute player for the NBA restart of the season. Smith will take place of guard Avery Bradley, who opted not to play because of health concerns for his young son.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) July 1, 2020
In the Lakers’ seeding games in July and August, Smith was 1-for-11 from the 3-point line and shot just 31.8% overall from the field. In the playoffs, he has appeared in just seven games and has gone 5-for-19 shooting from the arc, bringing his total in the NBA’s comeback to 6-for-30, or 20.0 %.
There were higher expectations for Smith when he joined the Lakers. Shortly after the team officially signed him, coach Frank Vogel commented on Smith’s potential impact:
When you look at a guy that potentially could be out of the league, was a starter on a Finals team a couple of years back, a champion, for him to have the perseverance to stay ready to give himself this opportunity is I think to be commended. Watching him work out, hey, his nickname is “Swish” for a reason, He’s a shot-maker, a big-time shot-maker, and like I said, looks like he’s in terrific physical conditions. Like I’ve said all along, I think he’s really going to help us.