NBA — 21 November 2015
J.R. Smith Accused of Choking Teen Who Mocked Him

J.R. Smith is a firecracker and marches to the beat of his own drum. That manifested itself in an alleged recent incident involving a high school student. Apparently, Smith ignored a request from Knicks fans for a photo and that didn’t sit too well with them, as the New York Daily News explains:

Smith has been accused of choking a 19-year-old high school student in Chelsea after the younger man quipped about the hoopster’s trade to Cleveland.

Smith, 30, has not been arrested in connection to the alleged incident outside Artichoke Basille’s Pizza about 4 a.m. on Nov. 13 at W. 17th St. and Tenth Ave.

The teen, Justin Brown, who wears braces and hails from Harlem, was with pals who chided Smith for ignoring their fan request for a photo.

Smith is seen on a cell phone video walking away from the group, sources said.

“That’s why New York kicked you out, yo!” Brown remarked.

Brown told cops that after the verbal brush, Smith, who is 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds, checked him against the exterior of the building and put his hands around Brown’s neck, police sources said.

Alex Spiro, a lawyer for Smith, said the claims against the athlete are unfounded.

It doesn’t appear as if there’s cellphone footage of this alleged incident, or the narrative around this would be different. We can speculate on whether or not this seems like something J.R. would do, but the fact of the matter is that there’s no proof.

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Kevin Burke

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