November 22, 2011
Monday we relayed the story and video of Smith's fall and sprained knee just one game into his tenure with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls. Smith refused all treatment from his team's training staff, begging off to have his twisted knee checked by a specialist in Beijing against the fierce objections and eventual warnings of "consequences" from the Golden Bulls' GM Zhao Bing. It turns out that this bit of fun times could be his career highlight in the Chinese Basketball Association.
With a $3 million guaranteed deal already in hand, it appears as if Smith has been attempting to play by J.R. Smith-type rules in his clearly fleeting first days with the Golden Bulls. And his new team, as you'd expect, is far from happy.
According to Zhao Bing, the club had provided Smith with a presidential suite at a cost of 6,880 yuan per day, arranged a special chef and spent 700,000 yuan in insurance as he requested. However, he wanted another villa in Shanghai or Hangzhou with a chauffeured car to commute for training in Yiwu.
Ding Wei, the team's head coach, also disclosed that Smith has missed training three times with illness excuses. And the team discovered that once he was actually shopping in Shanghai.
His own penthouse, a personal chef, insurance in case his NBA career goes out the window due to major injury, $3 million guaranteed -- and Smith still wants a second apartment and daily ride to work.
(Most infuriating? The personal chef. The guy is working in the heart of the most varied culinary landscape modern civilization has ever known, and he wants someone to help him warm up some chickie-chickie parm-parm. This honestly angers me above all.)
If you don't mind us playing up to reputation, then you'll allow me to again pass along the fact that this is far from unorthodox for a person and player like Smith. Rumors abounded about his financial well-being over the summer, he's clashed with every coach he's ever known, and he's waited a good week in his time with the only team willing to guarantee him money before leaving his team's el jefe spitting mad.
Of course, Smith still has time to turn it around. It starts with these photos, which are adorable.