He may not be a superstar, but J.R. Smith has dominated the headlines throughout his NBA career. Most of the time, it has had little to do with his play on the court. That’s not to say he hasn’t been effective. You don’t last nearly two decades in the league without providing some value.
However, well before he suited up for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Smith went viral thanks to a $450,000 truck that he drove to dinner in New York.
J.R. Smith’s NBA career
You’d never refer to J.R. Smith as a complete basketball player. After all, he’s averaged just 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 971 career games. But the New Jersey native has managed to make millions due to one skill: scoring.
Even though he’s spent the majority of his NBA career as a role player off the bench, the 6-foot-6, 225-pounder has always impressed with his shot-making ability. Smith started his career off in New Orleans before making a name for himself with the Denver Nuggets.
In five seasons, he averaged 13.7 points while shooting 38.2 percent from 3-point territory. The 2004 first-round pick then signed a massive deal with the New York Knicks in free agency. Though he started just 44 games, he won the 2012-13 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award after averaging 18.1 points.
J.R. Smith then took his talents to Cleveland to play alongside LeBron James. He started 21 games in the Cavaliers’ 2016 title run. During that postseason, he averaged 11.5 points while shooting a blistering 42.9 percent from downtown. However, his tenure included plenty of controversies, including an infamous mistake where he attempted to dribble out the clock before realizing the game was tied.
The veteran scorer has made $87 million in 15 seasons
Despite his reputation as a one-dimensional player, J.R. Smith has managed to bank in his 15-year NBA career. According to Spotrac, he has earned $87 million while suiting up for four franchises. However, as a player who often came off the bench, he didn’t initially make tremendous money.
In each of his first three seasons, Smith made less than $1.5 million. He finally broke through in 2008-09 when he made nearly $5 million in his third season in Denver.
In fact, the talented scorer didn’t even break the double-digit barrier until 2016, when he earned $12.8 million from the Cavaliers. His highest salary came in 2018-19 when he made $14.7 million. Ultimately, Cleveland didn’t get a great return on that investment, as Smith averaged a career-low 6.7 points in just 11 games.
Smith rolled up to a New York restaurant in an expensive armored truck
J.R. Smith certainly has earned a ton of money even as a limited player. And when he inked a $24 million deal with the Knicks nearly a decade ago, he celebrated in style.
According to the New York Post, Smith pulled up to a New York restaurant located in the Meatpacking District called Catch. Only he arrived in a vehicle you’d expect to see in a war movie rather than on the streets of the most famous city in America.
That night, J.R. Smith drove a Gurkha F5 armored truck to dinner. Typically used by police and the military, the truck reportedly was worth about $450,000. While it ultimately came out that Smith borrowed the truck, it still made for another headline-grabber by the Knicks’ highly-paid guard. If he could afford to ride in such expensive style, you can only imagine what his bill must have been that night.