J.R. Smith on Cavs NBA Championship: ‘My dad is easily one of my biggest inspirations to play this game’

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Oakland—J.R. Smith and the Cleveland Cavaliers are NBA Champions after beating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Following his news conference talking about being a Champion, J.R. Smith embraced his father, Earl Smith, Jr. in the news conference room, he received a standing ovation from members of the media who were touched by the father-son moment.

“Today is special to me. It’s Father’s Day. My dad put the ball in my crib,” Smith said. “I mean, my parents, my family, that's the biggest inspiration in my life. I've been in a lot of dark spots in my life, and if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be able to get out of it. But they are who they are,” Smith said. “They fought with me. They yelled at me, they screamed at me, they loved me, they hugged me, they cried with me, and they always stuck by my side no matter right or wrong,” said Smith. “I know a lot of people don't have their parents in their life, their mother, their father, but I've got the best two you could ask for, I swear. There's six of us, and they didn't treat any of us different. They loved us the same,” Smith said.

“I mean, my dad is easily one of my biggest inspirations to play this game. To hear people talk bad about me, it hurts me because I know it hurts him, and that's not who I am. And I know he raised me better, and I know I want to do better. Just everything I do is for my parents and my family. I mean, I don't really -- the cars are nice, the houses are nice, but none of this matters without them. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here. I don't know where I would be, honestly. If it wasn't for them, if it wasn't for the structure and the backbone that I have, I wouldn't be able to mess up and keep coming back and being able to sit in front of you as a world champion,” Smith said.

Smith began the second half of game 7 by hitting back-to-back 3’s which cut into the Warriors 49-42 lead. Smith finished the game with 12 points and helped lead the Cavaliers to their first NBA title in franchise history.

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