Frank Vogel: ‘Familiarity’ With LeBron James Will Help JR Smith Adjust To Lakers
LeBron James, JR Smith
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers were in need of just one replacement player for the NBA restart at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and they signed JR Smith was signed to replace Avery Bradley.

He seemingly was the only candidate considered after working out with the team once already this season. Some of that, as Lakers head coach Frank Vogel explained, was related to Smith’s fit alongside LeBron James.

“That was a factor. His familiarity with LeBron and the way we built our team obviously around LeBron, there’s a lot of similarities to the things they did in Cleveland,” Vogel said.

“That definitely is a factor in what we feel JR can bring to the table in what’s going to be a very short time to get acclimated. We have a pretty simple system that we hope can be picked up pretty quickly. Our guys picked it up pretty quickly to start this season, and we hope it’s going to be the same for both Dion and JR.”

Smith and James played together on the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2015-18. Smith’s three-point shooting — 38.1% during that stint — was part of the reason he was so successful with James. Although he’s most remembered for a gaffe in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals, Smith is still a solid option for L.A.

Teams that have great talent at the top of the roster usually have more straight-forward game plans, as they don’t need to do as much in order to succeed. Having James and Anthony Davis makes things fairly simple for the rest of the team, and that led to the Lakers having a 49-14 record at the time of the hiatus.

Smith primarily being a shooter, he’ll fit right into the Lakers’ scheme. He may not play much due to the talent ahead of him on the roster, but could make an impact in lineups with James, Davis, and a defensive-minded guard like Danny Green or Alex Caruso.

The best part about signing Smith is on the chemistry side of things. The Lakers were known this season for how well everyone got along and were truly a family off the court. Smith does not disrupt this in any way, in part due to his prior relationship with James.

Knowing how a James-led team operates is a huge advantage, since Smith can now just step in and learn how to be successful in a very short period of time.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Shaquille O’Neal Compares Playing With Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, And LeBron James

Shaquille O’Neal had the privilege of playing with a number of all-time greats during his own Hall of Fame 20-year NBA…

Lakers News: Media Still Has Giannis Antetokounmpo Ahead Of LeBron James For 2019-20 NBA MVP

Before the 2019-20 NBA season was suspended, one of the biggest developing stories was that of the Most Valuable Player…

Paul Pierce Details Growing Up Lakers Fan, But Being Selected By Celtics In 1998 NBA Draft

For most Los Angeles Lakers fans, Paul Pierce’s name brings a certain disdain and dislike as he was a villain who had no…

Lakers News: Rudy Gay Amazed By LeBron James’ Longevity In 17th NBA Season

Coming into the 2019-20 NBA season, there were questions as to how LeBron James would perform in his 17th season with…