J.R. Smith Reportedly Sued for $2.5M for NYC Nightclub Encounter

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIMarch 27, 2016

LOS ANGELES, CA  - MARCH 13: J.R. Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers on March 13, 2016 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Andrew Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)a
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith is reportedly being sued for $2.5 million for an incident from last November outside a New York City nightclub in which he allegedly choked and struck a man.

ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst reported the news Sunday, indicating Justin Brown filed a lawsuit against Smith on Thursday for emotional distress and physical injuries.

According to the documents Windhorst cited, Brown attempted to approach Smith for a photo request at approximately 4 a.m. when Smith stopped at a pizza shop after leaving 1Oak nightclub in Manhattan.

Smith declined the photo request, and Brown allegedly provoked Smith into striking him in the head and neck area when he said, "That's why you got kicked out of New York."

Smith's attorney, Alex Spiro, was adamant in telling Windhorst his client is innocent and even threatened legal action from his side.

"If they have the audacity to file a frivolous claim against J.R., we will counterclaim for defamation and defend the suit aggressively," Spiro said. "This was a cash grab from the start."

The 2013 NBA Sixth Man of the Year has also downplayed the situation.

"No, I ain't got no comment on that," Smith said of the lawsuit on Saturday, per Windhorst. "It is what it is. So, we'll just see what happens. I mean, the organization has been great since I got here. Whether it was that or anything else, they've been unbelievable, so I'm grateful for that."

As Windhorst pointed out, the club was also the site of an altercation involving NBA players Thabo Sefolosha, Pero Antic and Chris Copeland.

Brown was 19 at the time of his alleged scuffle with Smith. The 30-year-old has had a variety of off-court issues in his career, mostly stemming from driving infractions, including a reckless driving conviction for which he served jail time in 2009.