Report: Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith charged with reckless driving again

Cavaliers guard <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/3835/" data-ylk="slk:J.R. Smith">J.R. Smith</a> poses for a portrait on media day last month. (AP)
Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith poses for a portrait on media day last month. (AP)

Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith is contesting in court a charge of willful or wanton disregard of safety of persons or property after being cited for excessive speeding and reckless driving near his home outside the city around 1:20 a.m. on Oct. 12, according to Cleveland.com’s Adam Ferrise.

Smith’s lawyer entered a not guilty plea in Rocky River Municipal Court on Friday, the report said.

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The Cavs guard allegedly sped past Westlake police in his 2016 Dodge Avenger on the interstate, prompting a call to the neighboring Bay Village authorities, and when he allegedly sped past another cruiser on a residential street, police turned around to discover he had pulled into a neighbor’s driveway, according to the police report. They then conducted field sobriety tests on Smith.

Bay Village Lt. Calvin Holliday told Cleveland.com on Monday that police indicated Smith “had been drinking” prior to the traffic stop, but passed the field sobriety tests and was not charged with driving while intoxicated. Attempts to locate “officers with specialized training in drug use recognition” were reportedly unsuccessful, and a family member was permitted to move Smith’s car two driveways over.

Smith’s exact speed was not recorded, police told Cleveland.com, and the city denied the publication’s request for dash-cam video until after a ruling on the case. Smith’s lawyer reportedly requested a pretrial hearing on Friday, and the court has yet to set a date for the next step in the judiciary process.

The Cavs were between preseason games at the time of Smith’s traffic stop. He played 12 minutes in the team’s final exhibition game on Oct. 13, scoring six points on six shot attempts. He is averaging 6.3 points on 42 percent shooting in 21.7 minutes off the bench through three games of the regular season. Dwyane Wade requested that Smith replace him in the starting lineup over the weekend.


This is far from the first alleged traffic violation on Smith’s record.

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In June 2007, Smith allegedly drove his SUV around a stopped car, through a stop sign and collided with another vehicle in an accident that killed his best friend in New Jersey. Smith’s driving record reportedly featured five speeding citations at the time of the accident, although his license was “in good standing” despite having been suspended a handful of times in less than a year.

Two years later, he pled guilty to reckless driving and spent 24 days in jail before serving a seven-game suspension. Between the accident and his guilty plea, Smith was cited for speeding twice and had his license suspended three more times in New Jersey, according to the Associated Press.

The day after Smith received his most recent citation, the web series Driving Cleveland released a 42-minute video in which the Cavaliers guard drove the interviewer around the city in a Rolls Royce:


Smith did not appear to be speeding.

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Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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