With his off-court drama and on-court offensive explosions, J.R. Smith gave Chinese Basketball Association officials, coaches, teammates and fans a lot to remember this year and more.
As in, much more.
According to a report published by NetEase, Smith had US $1.06 million deducted from his salary over the course of the season for missing practices. Most of the missed practices came during pre-season while his team, Zhejiang Chouzhou, was getting ready for the start of the regular season. The sum was deducted from his salary, a final number that represented about one-third of his total salary.
Zhejiang Chouzhou general manager, Zhao Bing, said that the team was simply enforcing a clause in Smith’s signed contract and that the team gave him ample warning throughout.
“This was the arrangement when he came to the team,” said Zhao. “Every practice we let him know. If he expressed to us that he wasn’t going to come to practice, we’d tell him that in accordance with our contract, we’re deducting money from your salary. And he’d always get back to us with, ‘Whatever. If you’re going to take it, then just take it.’”
The article adds that Zhao Bing repeatedly told J.R. about the seriousness of the situation, but that he continued with the attitude that it was an unimportant issue for him.
Smith finished the season as the CBA’s top scorer, averaging 34.4 points per game.
Zhejiang Chouzhou finished with a 15-17 and did not make the playoffs, which allowed Smith to get his back-to-the-NBA FIBA letter of clearance earlier than most people expected. He recently signed a one-year $2.5 million contract with the New York Knicks, a deal that comes with a second-year player option.