There are a lot of reasons why a free agent might choose to sign with a certain team. Just working from assumptions here, since I have never been in the NBA, but these guys always talk about fit, playing time, coaching style, contender status — you know, the hits. There is a lot to consider, which is probably why some guys just flip a coin to decide.

One thing that not every player has the luxury to think about, however, is a team’s proximity to his mother’s cooking. But as it turns out, that might be what keeps J.R. Smith in New York. From Newsday:

“I’m getting kind of spoiled right now, going up and down the Turnpike,” Smith said. “My mom’s right there. She’s cooking. She’s coming up to New York and cleaning my place.

“After having that, I think it’s going to be harder off the court than it will be on the court [to leave]. On the court basketball is basketball everywhere. But you got your family and friends and everybody, so it will be tough.”

This is smart. Really smart. Maybe staying with the Knicks could cost J.R. Smith some money, since they are capped out and will only be able to offer him a contract right around $2.8 million, but he’ll save tons of money by having his mom cook him all of his meals. Not just on food costs either, because hiring a personal chef is super expensive. This is killing two food-related birds with one stone. Plus, if he plays his cards right, she might even do all of his laundry, which is gravy. (Also, she’ll definitely make him gravy. Bonus.)

Of course, there is another team in New York now, who just so happen to have a lot more money to spend this offseason. If I’m a non-rapping executive for the Nets, I might make a quick call to J.R., just to let him know they’ve got some serious funds and they’re still close to his mom. This could be a literal “have your cake and eat it too” situation.

(via Posting and Toasting)