JR Smith Choked Teen At Pizza Shop: NYPD

JR Smith Choked Teen At Pizza Shop: NYPD
JR Smith Bryan Thatcher / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

JR Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard, has been accused of choking a 19-year-old student in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, according to the NYPD.


Smith was traded from the New York Knicks to Cavaliers last season.

According to New York Daily News, Smith allegedly confronted, Justin Brown, after the teenager heckled the veteran baller for being traded from the Knicks. The alleged incident occurred at approximately 4 a.m. ET on November 13, outside Artichoke Basille’s Pizza in the Chelsea neighborhood.

Smith was back in New York since his new team, the Cavs, were in town to play the Knicks later the night of November 14. According the report, Smith “checked him (Brown) against the exterior of the building and put his hands around Brown’s neck.”

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Alex Spiro, Smith’s lawyer, has denied the allegations. “We don’t believe he’s (Smith) going to be charged,” Spiro told ESPN.

While Smith hasn’t yet been questioned by New York Police, the veteran guard addressed the situation during a Cavaliers shootaround on Saturday. “First of all, things haven’t been reported the right way,” said the 30-year-old Smith. “But the team and I have spoken. We had conversations. Coach (David Blatt), Griff (general manager David Griffin) and some of the players. I just don’t want to be a distraction to nobody else. And we just got to move forward,” added Smith.

The Cavaliers acknowledged that they were kept in the loop. “We are aware of the story and have spoken to J.R. about it,” said Griffin, the team’s GM. “J.R.’s attorney has issued a statement on the matter and there will be no further comment from the team on this at this point.”

Smith’s bad boy image is built around numerous controversies. In 2009, Smith received a jail sentence in New Jersey for being involved in a fatal collision. In 2012, he was arrested in Florida for driving without valid license. However, Smith feels he’s a victim of circumstances. “For me, I feel like a target every time,” said Smith.