JR Smith Says NBA Will Fine Him for 'Supreme' Tattoo If He Doesn't Cover It

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2018

INDEPENDENCE, OH - SEPTEMBER 24: J.R. Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Media Day at Cleveland Clinic Courts on September 24, 2018 in Independence, Ohio. 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. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith finds himself in a predicament, as one of his tattoos has apparently made him subject to a fine.

Smith took to social media Saturday to reveal that the NBA is threatening to fine him if he does not cover the "Supreme" tattoo on his leg during games (warning: NSFW language):

JR Smith @TheRealJRSmith

I swear Iโ€™m the only person they do shit like this to! So you mean to tell me i have to cover up my tattoo for what? You donโ€™t make people cover up Jordan logos NIKE checks or anythingโ€ฆ https://t.co/zjc8qVPYAP

Here's a look at the tattoo and his Instagram post, via Bleacher Report's Master Tesfatsion:

Master @MasterTes

JR Smith says the NBA will fine him every game he doesnโ€™t cover his Supreme leg tattoo https://t.co/juUVCK2PwH

Smith added more thoughts in his Instagram caption: "I swear I'm the only person they do s--t like this to! So you mean to tell me i have to cover up my tattoo for what? You don't make people cover up Jordan logos NIKE checks or anything else but because it's me it's a problem all of a sudden!!! S--t whack."

The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Saturday that Smith intends to discuss the matter with the league office.

Smith has been one of the leading Supreme supporters in the NBA, having worn a Supreme arm sleeve during a game:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

J.R. with the Supreme sleeve tonight ๐Ÿ‘€ https://t.co/7OzPDyDABl

According to Bleacher Report's Josh Martin, Smith heard from the league office in regard to the accessory.

The 33-year-old Cav said the Supreme sleeve was nothing more than a fashion statement.

"I thought it looked dope and matched our uniforms," Smith told Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon in December.

As for the tattoo, he was just looking to express himself.

B/R Kicks @brkicks

.@TheRealJRSmith is Supreme for life https://t.co/7qXoH5aXYb

But the league has not hopped aboard the Supreme bandwagon. Washington Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. broke out a Supreme leg sleeve a few days before Smith wore his arm sleeve; in that instance, the league made Oubre get rid of the sleeve at halftime.

The NBA has an on-court apparel deal with Nike and also agreed to a sock deal with Stance in 2015. Teams have also recently been allowed to wear sponsors' logos on jersey patches. Supreme has not been involved in any of those deals.

That doesn't mean the league hasn't taken notice, though.

"Supreme has been on our radar for quite a while," Lisa Piken Koper, the NBA's vice president of merchandising partnerships, told Martin in March. "We admire their business model and are excited about the new apparel line."

Piken Koper added that the league had "plans to work with Supreme in the future in connection with our Nike partnership."

For now, though, Smith and others will have to abide by the rules or risk seeing their bank accounts take hits.


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