JR Smith 'Hurt' When Told Dwyane Wade Would Start at SG for Cavaliers

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 13, 2017

Cleveland Cavaliers' Dwyane Wade laughs during warmups prior to an NBA preseason basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Scott R. Galvin)
Scott Galvin/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith admitted he was upset upon learning that Dwyane Wade would be taking his spot in the starting lineup this season.

During an appearance on the Road Trippin' podcast (via ESPN's Dave McMenamin), Smith said he was "hurt" when Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue first told him the news. 

"I was really emotionally drained at that point," Smith said. "I got wind of it that it was going to go down, but I didn't know. I was told he's going to be great for the second unit. ... It would be a great fit for the team, whatever, whatever. I'm like, 'Awesome, let's do it. One hundred percent. Out of all people, another person we're going to just grab for damn-near nothing? For sure. Let's do it.'"

Smith noted his disappointment stemmed from initially being told Wade was going to be used off Cleveland's bench, then having plans changed. 

"I'm a one-track mind. It's what I've always been. That's just me. So when you tell me something, I look at it as gold. So when you tell me something else, literally a couple of days later, it's like, ah, now I got to change my mind frame from where I was at the last three years to flip it back to me being the sixth man -- a successful three years, an extremely successful three years, I mean, we've been to three straight Finals."

Wade joined the Cavaliers late in the offseason. He agreed to a buyout with the Chicago Bulls on Sept. 24, and he signed with Cleveland three days later after clearing waivers. 

Smith has extensive experience as a sixth man before he was traded to the Cavaliers in January 2015. He only started 162 of the 697 games he played from 2004-14 but has only come off the bench seven times in 164 games with Cleveland. 

Injuries limited Smith to 41 games last season, and he struggled when healthy with a 35.1 three-point percentage that was his worst mark since 2011-12.