They don’t make many basketball players like J.R. Smith any more.
Some will say he was a wild card who played with reckless abandon. Others will think he was just the ticket to the free-flowing, improvised nature of the game we love. Those circus shots and Globetrotter dunks? He practised and honed them until he made them all his own.
This NBA champion twice over shouldn’t be reduced to a meme made off of a mistake. Sure, he celebrated the Cleveland championship without a shirt, but who hasn’t let loose when it’s been time too? They talk about the Hennessy and the marijuana, but many men and women stay smoking and drinking the same.
They just don’t know when to leave it alone.
Meanwhile, J.R. has taken all your shots. Now, he’s taking you back to school for LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s UNINTERRUPTED four-part docuseries ‘Redefined’. Streaming on Amazon Prime, who want to take some basketball real-estate away from the court content of Netflix and Disney +.
The former New York and Nuggets swing man and dribbling highlight reel last played with the Lakers in 2020. Winning big with ‘Bron again, this time in a Disney World Bubble. Buried at the end of the bench with fellow former star Dion Waiters, himself reduced to edible punchlines from fickle fans. Despite the fact that fresh in Florida, both big-names balled out before the playoffs.
Now, J.R. Smith is hitting the books and the links. Becoming a collegiate golfer and overcoming any adversity and struggle in the classroom to hit a GPA that if translated to NBA statistics would make him a star once again.
Dyslexia and ADHD have been a daily battle for Smith, who opens up powerfully and profoundly here. An emotional but encouraged Smith is now a sophomore at North Carolina A&T, suffering no slump as he finds the green that will lead to his life after hoops.
The oldest golfer on the Aggies’ roster, Smith serves as a mentor and friend to his fellow students, not a cautionary tale to be eaten up by the talking heads who like to troll on Twitter. His alumni get their tee time in this documentary too, that is about more than just one man.
The historic black university’s Academic Athlete of the Year is really swinging big after being drafted straight out of high-school by the Charlotte Hornets almost 20 years ago.
It was fellow high-school to highlight NBA star Moses Malone who first drove Smith’s love for golf over a decade ago. Today, he could give MJ a run for his money.
“This dude has just been awesome to me”, former Knicks and Cavs teammate Iman Shumpert compellingly tells us at the end of these thirty-minute episodes. Ones that if binged together will feel like a film for the hardcore hoop fans.
Forget what you know about the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year that could shoot from the celeb seats. This is the more human, the more heartfelt J.R.
Focus on this like Smith does his new journey to success. Doing his homework, this is a former NBA star redefined. Rewrote for the next chapter of a story like no other.