JR Smith Cleared of Wrongdoing in Alleged 2015 Fan Incident: Details, Reaction

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2016

Cleveland Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith, left, drives around Minnesota Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio, of Spain, in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

Two months after allegedly getting into an altercation with a 19-year-old near a New York City club, Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith was cleared of any wrongdoing Friday.  

According to Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the 30-year-old veteran will not face any charges stemming from the incident.

Per Shayna Jacobs and Rocco Parascandola of the New York Daily News, Smith was accused of choking a man near celebrity nightclub 1OAK in November 2015 after getting heckled.

After the report was initially published, Smith was quick to challenge its credibility on social media:

Smith continued that sentiment after he was cleared on Friday, taking to Instagram to say "#surprisesurprise."

He also announced his intention to move on after his attorney, Alex Spiro, called the allegations "absolutely false," per ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst.

"First of all, things haven't been reported the right way," Smith said. "But the team and I have spoke. We had conversations. Coach (David Blatt), Griff (general manager David Griffin) and some of the players. I just don't want to be a distraction to nobody else. And we just got to move forward."

Smith was traded from the New York Knicks to the Cavs last season, and he has been an important contributor during his first full campaign in Cleveland.

The former New Orleans Hornets first-round pick is averaging 12.2 points per game in a starting role, and he is connecting at a 39 percent clip from three-point range.

Cleveland remains the favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals for the second year in a row, and the fact that Smith no longer has legal issues hanging over his head could only serve to improve his focus and the team's play overall.


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