LAS VEGAS — Carmelo Anthony enjoyed seeing his former teammate and good friend J.R. Smith win a championship with the Cavaliers and respected the way he celebrated.
Smith was wearing his Cavaliers’ game shorts and no shirt during the team’s victory parade in Cleveland.
“I love it,” Anthony said. “I probably would have done the same thing. I know if I win I’m wearing my uniform everywhere. I might have tape on. I might walk around with my tights on. There’s no telling what I’ll do if I win a championship.”
Anthony has only gotten out of the first round twice in his career and hasn’t reached the postseason the past three years.
Smith had a similar playoff history, having been teammates with Anthony with the Nuggets and Knicks. But his fate changed when Knicks president Phil Jackson sent him to the Cavaliers in January 2015. Playing with LeBron James, Smith has been in the NBA Finals the past two seasons.
After the Cavaliers won the title, Smith broke down during his news conference. He was talking about his father and family and how some of his transgressions on and off the court have affected them. Anthony viewed Smith being a part of a championship team as a mark of redemption.
“I think it definitely matured him a lot,” he said. “He’s been through so much on the court, off the court, mentally. To see him really find his peace is a great thing.”