J.R. Smith returned to Madison Square Garden earlier this month (Nov. 13), to go up against his former New York Knicks team. Although he got the dub with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the celebration was quickly squelched after a trip to a pizzeria.
According to the New York Daily News, the New Jersey native allegedly got into a physical altercation with a 19-year-old outside of Artichoke Basille’s Pizza. The news site reports that the teenager asked the shooting guard for a picture, and when Smith declined, the teen reportedly began to jeer the NBA player. “That’s why New York kicked you out!” the teen, who’s been identified as Justin Brown, aimed at Smith. Following that remark, Brown said the 30-year-old athlete pressed him up against a wall and placed his hands around the high schooler’s neck.
A police report was filed the following day, but no legal action has taken place. Smith allegedly tweeted on the incident, writing, “Don’t believe everything you read!” His attorney, Alex Spiro, also echoed those same sentiments. In a quote issued to ESPN, Spiro said the accusations are “absolutely false,” and “we don’t believe he’s going to be charged.”
Don’t believe everything you read!
— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) November 20, 2015
The Cavs’ general manager, David Griffin, also shared a response on the matter, writing, “We are aware of the story and have spoken to J.R. about it.” Griffin continues, “J.R.’s attorney has issued a statement on the matter and there will be no further comment from the team on this at this point.”