J.R. Smith appeared to be one of the few NBA players that was enjoying his time hooping overseas until the NBA lockout is settled. He has tweeted about his good experience on multiple occasions. Smith was even putting on a show while playing for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls, hitting a game winner as well as putting up 33 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a pre-season game in only 2 quarters a couple weeks ago. Apparently everything isn’t as golden as it seemed, as details have surfaced after Smith injured his knee in the Chinese Basketball Association season opener that say otherwise:
An insider from the Golden Bulls reveals that the team was planning to waive Smith, who has been too demanding. According to Zhao Bing, the club had provided Smith with a presidential suite at a cost of 6,880 yuan per day, arranged a special chef and spent 700,000 yuan in insurance as he requested. However, he wanted another villa in Shanghai or Hangzhou with a chauffeured car to commute for training in Yiwu.
Convert the cost of Smith’s suite from yuan to US dollars, and his Presidential Suite has a price tag of $1,081.65 per day and his insurance policy is a steep 110,052.60. Add that to the guaranteed $3 mil salary, the private chef, Smith’s requests for a separate villa and a chauffeur, it appears as if Smith was milking his overseas opportunity for all it’s worth. Can’t say that I blame him. If the team was willing to accommodate his requests, then why not ask for all you can get?
Smith played in the game once he returned to Zhejiang, posting a stat line of 16-6-4. Even if Smith continues to produce, I get the feeling this won’t end well for Zhejiang. Guess they should have done their homework.