The Cleveland Cavaliers have seemingly moved on from the LeBron James era, once again, and leading the new band of Cavs is a seasoned J.R. Smith, who from all pre-season indications is ready to take over the helm of franchise player—on the court and off— already making headlines with his now banned tattoo.
But the ongoing ordeal over his tattoo isn’t stopping him from having fun. In the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-110 win over the Boston Celtics the other night, J.R. Smith and another teammate were caught mocking Jayson Tatum after Sam Dekker crossed him over and literally made him fall. On the sideline, the reenactment of the move and the subsequent Tatum tumbling was priceless:
One of the most exciting aspects about watching basketball is the play by play possibility, meaning, within each offensive or defensive set, there’s a chance that something spectacular could take place. In basketball, there’s, of course, the dunk, but there are still so many other facets and nuances to in-game play that really makes basketball unique among sports. Aside from the dunk, there are layups over and sometimes under defenders, a sweet mid-range jump shot over an outstretched arm trying block it, there’s the no-look pass that sometimes catches both offensive player receiving the pass and the defender off-guard, blocked shots sent out of bounds and sometimes into the stands, and then there’s the crossover, one of silkiest yet herky-jerky of all the basketball moves and plays, a dribble that purposely misdirects the defender to allow room for the offensive player to go pass and score. The crossover is something of infamy, and the only thing better than watching a deadly crossover in a basketball game is to literally watch the aftermath of its victim. And this was definitely the case the other night.
However, it is only pre-season for the NBA but that doesn’t stop the excitement and already spectacular and memorable plays are happening. Sam Dekker victimized Tatum and although it was just one play in pre-season, moves and moments like those and the sideline antics of teammates is what really makes the NBA fun to watch.