J.R. Smith on playing with LeBron: ‘It’s a blessing and a curse’

Kurt Helin
NBC Sports

OAKLAND — J.R. Smith and LeBron James have been friends since high school, there may not be a player in the league that knows LeBron and his game better. Smith has won a ring with the man.

With all that time has come some great insight into the joys and the challenges of playing with LeBron.

“It’s a lot of pressure,” Smith said of being on LeBron’s team. “Not for myself or my teammates, but just playing on his team. It’s almost… it’s a blessing and — it’s a gift and a curse. You play on his team, and you’re playing with the best player in the world and you get to witness some great historic things and be a part of it.

“Then, on the other side, if you don’t help that person win, they’re looking at you, too. So it’s a lot of pressure, depending on how you look at it.”

Of course, Smith has his own way of looking at it.

“I tell him all the time he has the opportunity to play with me as well,” Smith said.

Smith is going to feel that pressure of playing with LeBron in Game 2 Sunday — Smith was 3-of-10 shooting in Game 1, then had the game (and potentially series) changing blunder at the end. Smith said he’s moved on. The Cavaliers need him to have a short memory and be good J.R. if they are going to even the series.

What to Read Next