Cleveland Cavaliers: J.R. Smith lauds Baker Mayfield’s potential

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard J.R. Smith hasn’t been shy about showing his support for Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns.

After Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard J.R. Smith delivered on his promise to go shirtless (Cavs fans love “Shirtless J.R.”) if the Cleveland Browns won on Thursday, Swish has continued to laud the play and potential of the Browns and rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Check out this post from Smith’s Instagram:

"“This is hilarious [and] not far off,” said Smith, commenting of a picture of a Mayfield banner replacing LeBron James’ Nike banner. ”With hard work [and] dedication anything is possible…your time is now!”"

Mayfield led the Browns to their first win in two seasons, a total of 19 games and 635 days, in a victory that had an immediate aftermath reminiscent of the Cavs’ victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

Going 17-23 (73.9 percent) on his passes for a total of 201 yards and a passer rating of 100.1. Mayfield’s pocket presence, rocket arm and sheer talent were on full display after he replaced a concussed Tyrod Taylor in the second quarter.

Down 14-0, Mayfield led a furious comeback that saw the Browns outscore the New York Jets 21-3 over the rest of the contest.

A sensational quarterback in college who was the Heisman Trophy winner in 2017, his 14,607 career passing yards is the seventh-most in NCAA history while his career touchdowns (131) are the fourth-most in NCAA history and his career pass completion percentage (68.5) is the eleventh-most in NCAA history.

Like LeBron, Mayfield showed the makings of being a historically great player before being selected with the first overall pick by a pro sports team in Cleveland.

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The biggest difference between the genesis of LeBron and Mayfield’s pro careers might just be, well, size.

James has almost always been a man amongst boys, blessed with a muscular 6-foot-8, 250 pound frame that’s never led to him being classified as undersized.

Conversely, at 6-foot-1, Mayfield was seen as a talented but undersized quarterback. With players like Drew Brees (6-foot-0) and Russell Wilson (5-foot-11) — two Super Bowl winning quarterbacks — standing under six feet, it just has been made evident over the years that size isn’t everything in the NFL.

In the wake of LeBron deciding to play for the Los Angeles Lakers for the next four seasons, Cleveland may have found the city’s next superstar in Mayfield.

It was only one game as Smith said but, for one game, Mayfield showed and delivered A LOT.

He has the “it” factor on and off the field. He also has the support of the city and the King himself.

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How the rest of his career unfolds will be interesting to watch.

*All stats gathered from and