On the eve of Father’s Day and his son, J.R. Smith competing along with LeBron James and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, rolling out spoke exclusively to Earl Smith about the possibility of the Cavs bringing home the championship.
“That would be great! You can’t even imagine that! That’s better than Christmas,” the father of six and grandfather of eight said about the possibility of his son winning his first NBA championship tonight.
“We weren’t invited to the green room,” Smith recalled about the day his son J.R. was drafted by the New Orleans Hornets with the 18th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft right out of high school. “It was an unbelievable feeling. Everyone was jumping around with joy.”
A recent event that also filled Smith with joy was seeing his daughter on ESPN’s SportsCenter on Thursday before Game 6 of the NBA Finals. J.R.’s daughter, Demi Smith, appearing on camera with four other kids and superstar Jamie Foxx, was asked, “What is it like for you to watch your dad play this game?” Her response was priceless. (http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=16265390)
Smith shared that seeing his kids become successful and respectful of their elders has been gratifying and that J.R., and his younger brother Chris, who has also played in the NBA, both have incorporated his lessons in their professional basketball careers. “How to shoot the ball,” he said, as we both laughed. “I can remember when they were small, saying we can worry about defense later!”
If J.R. Smith can shoot the ball like his father taught him tonight, he just might make his dad’s Father’s Day better than Christmas!