If you consider yourself a Cavs fan, you’re rooting for J.R. Smith with LAL

J.R. Smith and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
J.R. Smith and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

In the wake of J.R. Smith heading to the Los Angeles Lakers, if you are a Cleveland Cavaliers fan……you are rooting for Smith to play well with L.A. in Orlando.

Flashback to the summer of 2016. Life is good, the weather is nice, and the Cleveland Cavaliers are on their way to bringing a championship to Cleveland, all while taking down the Golden State Warriors.

The Wine and Gold would come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals, which marked the only time in NBA history that has happened on that stage.

That was while taking down a Warriors squad that just broke the NBA’s single-season record for regular season wins with 73, too. It was quite the call when Cleveland officially won their first title as well.

Here was that call, from play-by-play announcer Mike Breen of ESPN NBA coverage on ABC at the time, via Fox Sports Ohio.

"“Iguodola to in-bound. Shumpert, trying to stay with Curry, catches, one dribble steps back, puts up a three, won’t go. Rebound tipped, taken by Speights, final seconds…….. It’s over! It’s over! Cleveland is a city of champions once again! The Cavaliers are NBA champions!”"

During that 2016 NBA Finals run, J.R. Smith was third in scoring for the Cavs with 76 points throughout the series on 40.0 percent shooting. Most importantly, though, Smith was there to provide a spark that was much-needed the entire series, and he was huge when it mattered most, too.

Outside of the solid play from Smith throughout the series, he really embraced the city of Cleveland in his time here and seemed to be the life of the party during the championship parade.

Fast forward to next season. While the Cavs may have made it to the NBA Finals, they were swept by the Warriors, making for a very quick and frustrating end to the season.

The Cleveland Cavaliers had a chance in Game 1 of the series, when George Hill missed the free throw with the game tied late and Smith grabbing the rebound seemingly thinking the Cavaliers were ahead. After that, well, the rest is history.

Yes, I am a firm believer that if Smith would have been aware of the situation in-game and would have kicked it out to the open man in LeBron James, he could have hit that shot and the series may have looked quite different come time for the series to head to Cleveland.

Smith could have his shot at postseason redemption in Orlando with the Los Angeles Lakers, though, and true Cleveland Cavaliers will be pulling for him.

So, if you consider yourself a Cavs fan, you are rooting for Smith to workout with the Los Angeles Lakers in Orlando when the season resumes. He recently signed with them for the remainder of 2019-20, as was reported earlier this week.

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Anyway, no matter where you look, you see nothing but love from Cavs fans across the world to Smith. Although he may have botched a potential game-winner in a James last second buzzer beater, fans still love him worldwide.

His Cavs tenure ending with him and the team agreeing that he’d not be an active team member for most of the 2018-19 rebuilding season and then eventually being waived following the year wasn’t an ideal ending, no.

Even so, Smith was a key player for Cleveland for several years, and real Cavs fans will be rooting for him.

Ever since before being out of the league, Smith has been a real asset to multiple teams in his NBA career, too.

In his tenure with the Cavs and almost all with LeBron James, he shot 38.1 percent from three-point range, and in the postseason, he hit 40.6 percent from deep with the Wine and Gold. Smith was the 2013 NBA Sixth Man of the Year with the New York Knicks as well, in which he put up a career-best 18.1 points per game.

So while us Cavs fans get to relax and enjoy basketball around the league as the Cavs were not invited back to play in Orlando, it will be fun to see Smith back with James and see how they play alongside each other once again.

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Moreover, while the ghost of Game 1 in 2018 may haunt LeBron James to this day, the spirit of winning a title together back in 2016 between Smith and James lives on as they look to come together and add another ring to their arsenal.