If you didn’t know J.R. Smith was from New Jersey, then you would swear that he was a lifelong resident of Northeast Ohio. The shooting guard has been showing the state love even after signing a four-year contract for $57 million. He has loved it in Cleveland and hasn’t been shy about his new home. Playing with LeBron James and winning championships hasn’t been bad either.
After the Cavs won the title in June, Smith made it a point to celebrate with the city all summer long. Going so far as to treat dress code staples like shirts as optional. Now, as winter kicks into high gear in the midwest, he pretty much has to wear a shirt. The one he wore after beating the Los Angeles Lakers 119-108 last night was amazing.
The shirt above reads “Cleveland It’s Not That Bad Have a Beer” and is produced by Cleveland Clothing Co. They have cornered the market on funny shirts that play on Cleveland’s place in the national consciousness. Winning the Larry O’ Brien Trophy has forced people to focus on what the city has a lot to offer: nice people, great restaurants, an extremely fair cost of living.
The transformation from part time living internet meme and party-er to beloved local sports figure is one of the most miraculous transformations we have seen in a long time. As long as he keeps giving love to the city, they will give all of that love back. Knocking down threes as part of a repeat title wouldn’t hurt either.