Former NBA basketball player JR Smith recently exposed the reality of a poverty mindset that keeps people oppressed. Smith made the “controversial” statements on the “I Am Athlete” podcast alongside former NFL player Brandon Marshall and former NBA player Antoine Walker. JR Smith’s key point was about men of means relying on themselves instead of begging other men with means to help. This is sometimes seen as a controversial thing to say due to political issues like reparations that get attached to these types of conversations.
During the podcast, Smith harkened back to the 2019-2020 NBA season that was interrupted by the virus. The NBA had ceased operation for a while and returned later in the year with the “bubble” in Orlando, Florida. All NBA players were restricted to playing games in Orlando in an attempt to contain the virus. George Floyd happens right in-between the normal NBA season stopping and the bubble. Players did a lot of back-and-forth with team owners to figure out what the next steps were going to be. These “talks” birthed all of the social justice statements on jerseys and “Black Lives Matter” on the basketball court.
JR Smith says that a lot of the players were talking about extracting more and more (money) from team owners for social justice initiatives. Smith made the point that the players requesting money were already multi-millionaires themselves. If the players cannot make change happen on their own with their own money, then that is the problem. Not NBA team owners. The problem is more of a mentality thing among the people of the “community” and from those who left the community after becoming successful.