When Josh Smith kinda, sorta insinuated life would be more difficult playing on an NBA veteran minimum salary this season, the Internet's hot-take police naturally ran with the perceived Latrell Sprewellian angle.
This was the quote that made the rounds after last week's press conference to introduce Smith, who signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal to play for the Clippers in 2015-16, his fourth team in just over two years:
"At the end of the day, you know, I do have a family," he said. "So it is going to be a little harder on me this year. But I'm going to push through it, you know."
Seems weird, right? Especially for a guy who will also make $5.4 million annually through 2019 in order to not play for the Detroit Pistons, who waived him in December and stretched the remainder of his four-year, $54 million contract after a failed 18-month relationship. For those counting at home, that's a $6.9 million income in 2015-16. I mean, how is anybody supposed to live on that kind of scratch in this economy?
Well, an oft-silent Smith or whoever wrote the piece clarified those comments for The Players' Tribune, citing a third move since 2013 for his wife and three children — and not the money — as the impetus for his misinterpreted remarks, just as our own Kelly Dwyer surmised in his more reasoned take at the time.
The whole thing about it being “harder on me” comes down to family. It seems obvious to me, but maybe I could have said it more clearly. If you know the NBA, you know that moving to a new team is a decision that affects an athlete’s whole family. That’s even more true when you’re signing a one-year deal. With a one-year deal, there’s less stability because you know you might be moving again in a year.
Now, there will surely be those who maintain that's the price Smith pays for earning millions to play basketball for a living — however inconsistently — but that doesn't necessarily translate to an 8-year-old who will attend her third or fourth school in three years this fall, and that's the point we should hone in on.
Josh Smith misspoke, people. Let's move along.
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