Josh Smith Puts World In Its Place For Freaking Out Over His ‘Harder On Me’ Comments
Last week, the world (well, just the sports media world, which at times can feel like the only thing that exists around here) collectively flipped its shit over comments made by new Clippers forward Josh Smith. Last season was tumultuous for Smith, who was waived by Detroit before signing with Houston and making a decent playoff run that saw him rehabilitate his image from "chucker with terrible attitude" to "serviceable rotation player." So he signed a one-year, title-chasing deal with L.A. and said something in his introductory presser that rubbed people the wrong way.
"It wasn’t about the money because of the Detroit situation. But at the end of the day, you know, I do have a family. So, it is going to be a little harder on me this year. But I’m going to push through it and try to do long-term after this year. But I think, this year, focusing on doing something special with this group of guys – we have the opportunity to do something special. Right now, this is what I want to focus on."
Most people took this as a Latrell Sprewell-esque comment -- Spree famously said that a contract between $27 million and #$30 million was "insulting" because he had a family to feed. Smith, who between his stretched Detroit deal and his Clippers contract, will make $6.9 million this year. Hardly "hard" on anybody.
Except, according to Smith, that's not what he meant at all. In a piece for The Players' Tribune, Smith set things right and explained that his sentiments were about moving, not finances.
Apparently the headline was: Josh Smith went to the Clippers press conference and said he didn’t make enough money? Even the idea of it is kind of ridiculous. Anyone who knows me, or knows how one-year contracts work in the NBA, understood what I was saying. This is my third team in less than a year. I was talking about how moving affects my family. But the headline about greed was the one everyone ran with.
Let’s just look at what I actually said so we don’t get it twisted. This is the quote people shared:
“It wasn’t about the money because of the Detroit situation, but at the end of the day, I do have a family, so it is going to be a little harder on me this year. But I’m going to push through it and try to do something long-term after this year.”
The whole thing about it being “harder on me” comes down to family. It seems obvious to me, but maybe I could have said it more clearly. If you know the NBA, you know that moving to a new team is a decision that affects an athlete’s whole family. That’s even more true when you’re signing a one-year deal. With a one-year deal, there’s less stability because you know you might be moving again in a year.
And... yeah. When you look at his words again, that does make an awful lot of sense. In fact, he starts off by saying "It wasn't about the money..." so it's a little unclear how people ended up taking it the way they did. There were some Smith defenders around the web -- but they said they agreed that Smith making less money would be "harder" than making more money, so people should shut up. Seems everyone, even Smith supporters, missed the point.
We're not the biggest Josh Smith fans around these parts -- we have a post called "Josh Smith's 7 Worst Lowlights, Ranked" -- but we have to admit, he (appears) to have gotten shafted on this one. Shut up, internet.
Photo via NBA
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