Winning a championship is life-changing for any player, and it did wonders for JR Smith. After winning his first title in 2016, Smith's view on money and life, in general, changed for the better.
Smith's view on money after the championship
The 16-year veteran is a 2-time champion, but his first title remains the most memorable and life-changing. Smith made a guest appearance on "I am Athlete" podcast and shared why his views on money changed drastically.
"We got the money. We don't have the mindset. We'd rather go throw $60,000 in a club, in a strip club. Go throw $60,000 than go feed 2,500 people in the hood.Think about it, I can't sit here and be like, I'm a hypocrite, I've done this myself. I've thrown money in the club literally mindlessly, aimlessly drunk at a bar. Now, I sit back and I'm like, I'm a stupid a** 'n****'. I could have fed my community 10 times over with the money I was just... Cuz I was so wrapped into me, I got that Eurocentric mindset. I need this designer jacket, I need these jeans, I need this bookbag, I need to be looking like this cuz the vets got this, they got pushin' this car... Why? Who am I impressing, I'm not even fulfilled with me."
When asked by Brandon Marshall what happened or when his views changed, Smith revealed it was after winning his first title.
"It clicked for me, probably the year after we won the chip. The year after we won the chip, I felt like I had everything, and I still wasn't whole with me cuz I know something was missing. And for a long time, I went through a bad depression because I couldn't figure out what it was. Like, I've always had this mission because my parents have instilled in me to help my community, to help my people, help people around me, help people who look like me."
The bubble in Orlando and the Black Lives Matter movement affected players. Sometimes, they are all caught up with the money, fame, and glamour of being multi-millionaire athletes, and they tend to lose focus on what matters.
Smith may not be your standard NBA role model, but what he pointed out made sense. If they combined their efforts to make a difference to the community, many of these players would only have to do so little to make a massive difference for the people around them.
Henny Smith after the finals blunder
JR is out of the NBA, went back to college, and transitioned to golf. He's not on the level as other notable NBA players on the golf course, but he is getting there. It's a welcome development for Smith, who received an unfair share of backlash after making the finals blunder in 2018.
He admitted getting depressed over it because he thought it was one of the reasons why he's out of the NBA now. Now that JR is making strides after playing pro basketball, he has the time and opportunities to start his projects for the community.
Here's to hoping JR Smith continues to make positive changes for the community. He may be known for his NBA Finals blunder, but Smith is not letting it stop him from pursuing more important things in his life.