After a long and enjoyable weekend where everyone got sunburned and ate various grilled meats, the NBA Finals start tonight in Miami. And just like us normal people, NBA dudes are flocking to South Beach to watch some basketball while also enjoying midnight sandwiches and parties on rooftops.

But between Memorial Day weekend and the break between the conference finals and the NBA Finals, there is a lot of time for people to get in trouble. One of those people who broke some rules was J.R. Smith, who managed to get busted for the most hilarious offense. From TMZ:

J.R. Smith is not going to gain any street cred from this arrest — he was popped in Miami this weekend for operating a scooter without a valid driver’s license.

It is probably to early to tell considering there is no picture of Smith being pulled over by a cop while on his scooter, but this might top Ron Artest’s race car escapade as the most bizarre vehicular malfeasance in recent NBA history, mostly because it means J.R. Smith was planning on spending the weekend scootering about Miami. It just cracks me up that that was his preferred mode of transportation. That’s the sort of thing JaVale McGee would do.

However, it’s not all grits and gravy for J.R. Smith and his scooter. Smith didn’t have a valid license, which is a pretty common occurrence for him, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d had it suspended recently. For a guy who has spent time in jail for a motor vehicle accident that killed his friend and was subsequently suspended by the NBA for his poor driving record, that’s scary. J.R. Smith’s had a lot of problems that stem from motor vehicles, so getting arrested again without a license could mean more trouble, both with the law and the league. In a summer where he’s a free agent, that’s not good.

That being said, J.R. Smith was definitely riding a scooter on purpose, like he’s in a really weird version of a Ruff Ryders video. That’s funny, even if all the things surrounding it aren’t the best in the world.

Comments (7)

  1. J.R. Smith was not arrested according to any credible news source (and TMZ is anything but credible). CBS reported that he was not even taken to the station, and was merely given a citation.

    It’s very irresponsible for TBJ to post such an unverifiable and inflammatory headline. J.R. has rightfully earned the reputation he has, but that doesn’t justify exaggeration of the facts.

    Usually loving you guys, but I think you’ve pretty clearly crossed a line here.

  2. Take it easy man, he said its probably too early to tell.

  3. denbutsu, this site is more about poking fun than it is about straight news reporting. If people are relying on this site alone for news, that’s their own mistake.

  4. Wait a second. So Dirk wasn’t fined for ruining Inglorious Bastards……?

  5. Wooza, Jeff, while I can appreciate your taking the headline in a light hearted way, and the fact the the whole tone of TBJ is light hearted, the fact of the matter is that this blog has enough media clout now to make a difference in the larger discourse. ESPN writers read (and follow on twitter) TBJ. Knowledgeable basketball fans put a lot of credence (even if they shouldn’t) in the opinions expressed by this site.

    So, when self editorializing, when choosing to use the word “arrested” as opposed to say “cited” or “briefly detained”, the writers should be aware of the responsibility they bear for the influence their posts have.

    This is not a trivial matter. The difference between getting a ticket and getting arrested is a big fucking deal when you’re a famous person who already carries the negative baggage of disreputability. It isn’t just “about poking fun”. It’s damaging.

    People, perhaps, *should* know better than to take TBJ seriously. But when a site has serious readership, it’s their responsibility to know better.

  6. Thanks very much for changing the headline. That was all I was hoping for, and I appreciate it.

  7. TBJ has no obligation whatsoever to change the tone or content of their editorials based on how the readership view it. They do however have an obligation to vet their sources when submitting factual statements, especially if those statments are defamatory.

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