During an interview on Uninterrupted’s "Open Run" podcast in August, LeBron James was asked, "If J.R. Smith were an animal, what animal would he be?" LeBron only had a few seconds to consider the question, but he came up with a pretty spot-on answer.
"J.R. is like a dolphin," he said. "You know why? I watch a lot of these…what is it called, Open Water? Or National Geographic. And dolphins, like, they’re really killers. Sharks are afraid of them. But they gotta have a group around them to become the best of their ability…And incredibly smart."
It sounds like Smith agrees with LeBron's assessment. Smith—who is still waiting for the Cavaliers to sign him—sat down with The New Yorker recently and talked about his growth as an NBA player over the last 12 years. He discussed living with his dad in New Orleans when he was first drafted—"I bought a house and cars, but I was sleeping in the guest room," he said—and he also explained why the end of his tenure with the Knicks was a nightmare. "I couldn’t get out of my own way," he said.
But the most interesting part of the feature comes at the end when Smith tried to sum up his existence by comparing himself to his favorite animal. "You know the animal question?" he said. "The dolphin is my favorite animal. It’s graceful. When it jumps out of the water, it’s one of the most peaceful things you can see. Especially when the sun is hitting off the water. There’s something just so calm and peaceful about it. At the same time, if it goes down, a dolphin is like, 'OK, let’s go.' I’m a dolphin. That’s all people need to know."
Wow. The entire New Yorker piece is worth a read, as it features J.R. dropping a bunch of other gems, too. You can check it out here.