J.R. Smith, the two-time NBA champion turned collegiate golfer, wants another shot at playing professional basketball.
On Saturday (Dec. 25), Smith took to Twitter to let all 30 NBA teams know he’s interested in returning to the league. “So since we just giving out 10 days to see who wants to play. I’m still willing and want to play basketball. My phone number hasn’t changed,” Smith tweeted.
The tweet came during the middle of the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the Brooklyn Nets. Smith’s former team is struggling and currently in the midst of a 5-game losing streak.
The 36-year-old shooting guard last played in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020. He won his second title alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and managed to average 7.5 minutes and 2.0 points in 10 games during the league’s playoffs in the bubble. Smith spent 16 seasons in the NBA and played for five different teams.
After going unsigned during the 2020-21 NBA season, Smith enrolled at North Carolina A&T State University where he is currently pursuing a degree in liberal studies. He made the HBCU’s golf team as a walk-on and has participated in a couple of tournaments.
The NBA’s 2013 Sixth Man of the Year has kept fans updated with his collegiate studies via twitter. “Single best move I’ve made in a long time ever. EDUCATING MYSELF! #Investinyourself,” he tweeted in October. And just a few weeks ago, Smith said that he finished the semester with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. “Grades are in! 4.0. I’m going FU$&@ing NUTTTTTSSSSSSS!!!” he tweeted.
While it’s unclear whether Smith is serious about returning to the NBA — since he has quite a few more semesters to go to complete his degree — the league has recently allowed all 30 teams the chance to sign more players to their rosters due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.
Check out J.R. Smith’s tweet below: