Unhappy with his new role, J.R. Smith says he hopes the Cavaliers trade him. Smith hasn’t formally requested a trade but said Thursday that Cleveland’s front office knows he wants out.
The 33-year-old guard didn’t play in Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta, the Cavs’ first game since coach Tyronn Lue was fired. The Cavaliers are rebuilding with a young roster, and Smith is one of just three players left from Cleveland’s 2016 title team.
Smith said following the Cavaliers’ shootaround that it has been difficult to sit, but he promised to help Cleveland’s young players who seek his advice. He’s had a rocky relationship with Cleveland fans. Some love his carefree spirit, while others still blame him for losing track of the score in the closing seconds of Game 1 in last year’s NBA Finals.
Smith said his loyalty remains with the fans, and “it’s not about who wants me here and who doesn’t want me here. For me, it’s all about the fans.”
Cleveland awarded All-Star game
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been awarded the 2022 NBA All-Star game. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made the announcement Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena, the site of the game.
Silver said he had a number of discussions with Cavaliers chairman Dan Gilbert and chief operating officer Len Komoroski about bringing the game to Cleveland.
Cleveland last hosted the game in 1997 in the same building, which was called Gund Arena at the time, when the league honored its top 50 players. The 2022 game will be held on the NBA’s 75th anniversary.
The Cavaliers had submitted bids to host earlier All-Star games, but the downtown arena is undergoing a massive renovation. Construction began this year and should be completed by the end of next summer. Charlotte will host the game this season, followed by Chicago and Indianapolis.
1:35 p.m.: This article was updated with Cleveland being awarded the 2021 NBA All-Star game.
This article was originally published at 11:40 a.m.