Here’s how LeBron James has to handle J.R. Smith’s embarrassing mistake

By now, you’ve almost certainly seen J.R. Smith make one of the most boneheaded plays in NBA history.

On Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, Smith stepped off the court to say hello to Milwaukee’s Jason Terry. Unfortunately for Smith, the Bucks were preparing to inbound the ball at that moment, and Tony Snell cut backdoor for an uncontested layup before Smith realized what was going on.


Smith got an earful from Cavs coach Tyronn Lue on Wednesday, but as Skip Bayless explained on FS1’s "Undisputed," that’s not enough. LeBron James needs to step in and make sure nothing like this happens again.

BAYLESS: "I thought it was a very big deal, because I think LeBron James’ friendship with J.R. Smith is about to get tested.

"We all know that LeBron James is the leader of this team and this franchise. I think we all know that LeBron is the unofficial head coach of this basketball team. And it is now on LeBron James to pull J.R. Smith aside, to put him back in his place, and to drive home the point that what happened on the court and after the game last night was unacceptable for a potential championship basketball team. […]"

In case you missed it, here’s the postgame performance Bayless referenced; it truly is an all-time interview.


And Bayless is pretty sure that LeBron isn’t happy with Smith today:

"I would think, knowing LeBron the way I know him, that he would be furious about [that play]. … and then, as Joy also pointed out, his explanation for the Tony Snell play was, ‘I didn’t know I was in the game.’ You know what? I think that was actually dead honest on his part. I think he forgot he was actually playing for the Cavaliers. And I want to point out that J.R. Smith recently signed a four-year, $57 million contract and finally got his ring, so does that mean J.R. Smith has semi-retired for the Cavaliers? Does he think it’s pretty much over, that there’s no more pressure, expectations — that he can do whatever he wants?

"J.R. Smith is a force on this team, on and off the floor, for better and for worse. And if allowed to go unchecked from this moment forward, he will be the undoing of a potential championship team. It is time for LeBron to step in and lay down the law."