J.R. Smith injured in Chinese debut
After getting carried off the floor in his Chinese Basketball Association debut, Denver Nuggets free agent J.R. Smith(notes) was “walking around and just sore,” his father told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday night.
Earl Smith, who lives in New Jersey, responded in a text message that his son was “fine,” but would be undergoing an MRI on his right knee shortly.
NIUBBall.com reported that Smith had to be carried off the floor by teammates, and a video clip of Smith crumpling to the floor spread rapidly across the Internet.
Smith, 26, signed a $3 million contract to play the season for Zhejiang of the Chinese Basketball Association in September. He had scored 20 points in a 111-78 loss on Sunday before suffering what appeared to be a non-contact knee injury.
Smith wasn’t the only NBA free agent who suffered a frightening injury this weekend overseas. Utah Jazz free agent Andrei Kirilenko(notes) hit the floor on a hard foul, suffering a concussion and a broken nose for CSKA of Moscow. As the NBA lockout cuts deeper into the season, more players are considering jobs overseas. Insurance policies for most players have become cost prohibitive, leaving many players with significant money left on their NBA contracts doubting whether it’s worth the financial risk to take jobs in Europe and Asia.
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