Watch out, China! Current Denver Nuggets free agent J.R. Smith has just signed a contract to play the upcoming season with the Chinese Basketball Association’s Zhejiang Golden Bulls (浙江稠州银行) of Yiwu.
We’re forecasting multiple dunk incidents whereby J.R. slams the bejesus out of baskets in the gyms of Bayi, Beijing and the Brave Dragons, to name but a few potential posterization victims. Smith’s contract will see him play from November to March for $3 million USD, in what will be the biggest contract ever signed in the 16-year history of the CBA.
Smith, one of the most electrifying sixth men in the NBA who’s known equally for his athleticism and inconsistency, will join his Nuggets’ teammate Wilson Chandler in Zhejiang province.
Chandler recently signed up to play with Hangzhou’s Zhejiang Lions, who will be coached by 5-time NBA Championship-winning assistant coach Jim Cleamons.
Though the idea of the NBA lockout is still an unsavory thought, the silver lining just might be players like Smith and Chandler coming to play for leagues like China’s.
If you have a chance to see J.R. Smith come to your town this upcoming season, we’d wager that investing the time and RMB to catch a game in person would be just the serotonin ticket for a dark smog-filled winter’s day.
Video of J.R. Smith highlights and more speculation after the jump…
Considering that Smith, who turned 26
today on the 9th (生日快乐!), has managed to pull off ten 3-pointers in a game on two separate occasions, there’s little chance that Chinese defenses will be able handle the inside-outside threat Smith’s game represents.
Oh, and did we mention about J.R.’s consciousness-expanding level of dunk-artistry yet? There’s that, too.
If you’re still not sold, there’s also the fact that attending a Golden Bulls game will provide a chance to admire the lovely art-space that is Smith’s entire tattoo-covered upper torso, which we’re sure will be decoded and weibbed about by netizens in due time.
Might we suggest ‘Brother What’ as a nickname (什么意思哥), since ‘What does that mean?’ in Chinese is a homonym for the transliteration of ‘Smith’. And, you know, since basketball fans will probably ask each other ‘Shenmeyisi?!’ if J.R. occasionally goes into brain-off mode during a game.
Personally, we can’t wait for when J.R. and the Golden Bulls will be in town to play the Shanghai Sharks (上海大鲨鱼) at Luwan Stadium. How excited will we be about going to see an explosive NBA talent still in their prime, as opposed to players plucked from the basketball equivalent of a 99-cent CD bin? Probably as excited as J.R. will be when he finds out how far 10RMB travels at the dumplings stand.
Related: Debatist: Is the CBA right to reject all NBA players under contract?