You want to know how focused J.R. Smith was on turning in a monster performance in Game 4 of the 2015 NBA Finals? The Cleveland Cavaliers guard wanted to reserve every erg of energy so badly that he arrived to Quicken Loans Arena by way of a vehicle that allows him to move without walking or moving his arms in any way:
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That, friends, is a PhunkeeDuck. You might have seen something similar to J.R.'s new means of personal conveyance in the gossip blogs recently, as piloted by R&B artist/swell guy Chris Brown. That one is apparently called the Hovertrax. Always good to learn that there's a competitive marketplace for hands-free walking substitutes that you'd never heard of.
You know what? Let's run that back — this time, all together in a non-six-second format.
Oh, man. The back pat for Golden State Warriors reserve guard Shaun Livingston really just makes this whole thing sing, doesn't it?
Smith's new ride, which he says he received from actor Jamie Foxx, costs $1,500, so if you've been in the market for a Segway but felt like that just required too much hand usage, that's how much you'll need to pony up to get on Breezy and Swish's levels.
If you want to see what it looks like when a non-celebrity gets his PhunkeeDuck/Hovertrax on, check out this product review from my main dude Chris The Toy Guy from TTPM:
Color me shocked that J.R. didn't take Chris The Toy Guy's precautionary measure of wearing a helmet while practicing his rollout.
"We are not just out to make money," claim the makers of PhunkeeDuck. "We are out to change the world."
First, perhaps, they can tackle carpets. From The Associated Press:
Just as [Golden State] Warriors coach Steve Kerr was finishing an interview outside Golden State's locker room, Smith zoomed by riding ... a hands-free motorized vehicle.
"Hey, what's up?" Smith said as he rolled by on the carpet.
Smith nearly became the Cavs' most recent injury when he briefly lost his balance and lunged forward, catching himself before he fell.
He got right back on, though, and continued his journey to Cleveland's locker room.
You can always count on J.R. to persevere when he almost gets thrown off his futuristic skateboard. Bravo, J.R.
To put a bow on this blithe bit of pre-Game 4 absurdity, here's Rob Perez with the Chamillionaire cut-up demanded by this new development:
The pre-game joyride, sadly, wound up being the highlight of Smith's night. The feast-or-famine shooting guard once again failed to generate any offense for the short-handed and depleted Cavaliers.
Smith missed 10 of his 12 shots on Thursday, including all eight of his 3-point tries, in a four-point, two-rebound, two-assist, 27-1/2-minute performance as a Cleveland side in desperate need of secondary scoring behind LeBron James scuffled to a 103-82 defeat that knotted up the best-of-seven Finals at two games apiece. Many of the shots he took were precisely the ones he needs to make if the Cavs are to capitalize whenever the Warriors load up on LeBron or stay afloat whenever LeBron hits the bench, but he just hasn't been able to consistently make them in this series.
The Cavaliers shot just 33 percent from the field and 4-for-27 from 3-point range in the loss. Smith is now averaging nine points per game on 29.8 percent shooting for the series. Maybe he should bring the PhunkeeDuck on the court for pre-game warmups, and save his legs a bit more.
Smith knows better than anybody how hard-pressed he is right now, and he didn't pull any punches when asked after Game 4 to describe the state of his game at the moment:
Q: How would you assess your own game right now?
Here's the thing about rocking something flashy to make an entrance: unless you've made alternative arrangements, you've also got to rock it on the way out after a loss. Here's Sad J.R. exiting, stage left, at a speed unlikely to top six miles per hour:
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