LeBron James Once Paid J.R. Smith the Weirdest Compliment by Comparing Him to a Dolphin (2024)

As any basketball fan can tell you, LeBron James is a pretty talented guy. On the court, the Los Angeles Lakers forward is capable of doing just about anything he wants; away from basketball, he’s a pretty savvy entrepreneur. King James’ compliments, however, could use some work; just ask J.R. Smith about that.

Smith and James, of course, shared the court in Cleveland and, barring one infamous moment in the NBA finals, seemed to get along pretty well. In fact, LeBron once paid his teammate a bizarre, if well-meaning, compliment by comparing him to a dolphin.

J.R. Smith and LeBron James were solid teammates, despite the meme

Some of the best LeBron James JR Smith Memes in the aftermath of Game 1 of the NBA Finals. You can take JR Smith off the Knicks but you can never take the Knicks out of JR Smith. #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/gi1FTHKkRu

— STAT Sports (@STATSports1) June 2, 2018

RELATED: J.R. Smith Once Drove a $450,000 Armored Truck to Dinner

On the surface, LeBron James and J.R. Smith seem to sit at opposite ends of the spectrum; one man is a hyper-focused star while the other has become famous for his poor decisions. Despite those differences, the two teamed up successfully on the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After making a name for himself in Cleveland and infamously heading to Miami to chase championships, James returned to Ohio in 2014. That January, Smith, who had made a name for himself in Denver and New York, joined the Cavs via trade.

While everyone remembers Smith’s famous brain freeze in the 2018 NBA Finals, he and James worked pretty well together. The guard’s outside shooting helped make space for LeBron on the offensive end and caused problems out of the pick and roll; he was also a tough defender, although that side of his game slipped over the years.

Smith also stated that LeBron had a major impact on his life. “His work ethic and his drive changed my life,”theguardexplained on “All The Smoke.” “He helped me. ‘There’s a reason why you’re here.’ … He pounded that s–t into my head so much that every day I was at the gym like three, four times a day.”

LeBron James once compared his teammate to a dolphin

JR Smith forever. 🐬 pic.twitter.com/mC0iRcDZ1r

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 14, 2016

J.R Smith’s appreciation of LeBron James wasn’t one-sided, though. The star forward also praised his Cavs teammate, albeit in a much more bizarre way.

In summer 2016, James appeared on The Undefeated’s “Open Run” podcast. During the conversation, Jesse Williams andStefan Marolachakis posed a unique question about J.R. Smith: if the guard were an animal, which did LeBron think he would be?

After bemoaning the fact that he didn’t have much time to think about his answer, James made his choice and settled on a marine mammal.

“I don’t know, man, JR is like a dolphin, man,” James said, according to SLAM. “You know why? I watch a lot of these… what is it called, Open Water? Or National Geographic, and dolphins like, they’re really killers. Sharks are afraid of them. But, they gotta have a group around them to become the best of their ability…And incredibly smart.”

J.R. Smith will get to join a pretty good group around him in Los Angeles

RELATED: Battle of Los Angeles: Lakers vs. Clippers Headline Return of NBA Season

When the NBA season resumes in Orlando, teams will be able to sign additional reinforcements to bolster their roster. With Avery Bradley opting out of the restart, the Lakers are reportedly signing J.R. Smith to take his place.

While it’s easy to look as Smith as that goofy guy who spawned an iconic meme, LeBron’s allusion to dolphins thriving in a group illustrates how he could fit with the Lakers. The guard isn’t going to carry a team to a championship singlehandedly, but, with James and Anthony Davis on the roster, that isn’t a problem. Smith can slot in as a veteran roleplayer, knocking down a few shots, playing some defense, and eating a few minutes off the bench. As Mo Dakhil laid out for Bleacher Report, he could serve an important role down the stretch.

Could J.R. Smith be the missing piece that helps LeBron James and his Lakers fend off the Western Conference’s ‘sharks’ en route to an NBA title? At this point, only time will tell.

LeBron James Once Paid J.R. Smith the Weirdest Compliment by Comparing Him to a Dolphin (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rob Wisoky

Last Updated:

Views: 6041

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (48 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rob Wisoky

Birthday: 1994-09-30

Address: 5789 Michel Vista, West Domenic, OR 80464-9452

Phone: +97313824072371

Job: Education Orchestrator

Hobby: Lockpicking, Crocheting, Baton twirling, Video gaming, Jogging, Whittling, Model building

Introduction: My name is Rob Wisoky, I am a smiling, helpful, encouraging, zealous, energetic, faithful, fantastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.