It seems like only yesterday that Denver Nugget J.R. Smith was calling out Kobe Bryant on Twitter.
Now, however, it looks as if Smith and Bryant may become Los Angeles Lakers teammates -- and once again, Twitter appears to be bringing them together.
Back in February 2010, Smith provided the Lakers with some cyber-bulletin-board material with the following tweet: "Dont get me wrong kobe is great but not when he play me."
The response to this declaration prompted Smith to follow with "lol here comes the hate! Yes! thank you ill take all the haters," as well as the inevitable "Dang media still on my page lol yall need to get a life!"
This last line suggests that Smith hadn't quite figured out that Twitter isn't the equivalent of e-mail, and that his posts were accessible to everyone, including those who cover the NBA for a living. By now, though, he obviously understands, and he's been enjoying the speculation about where he might land, as witnessed by references to various teams on his current Twitter account, next to his profile pic.
And then there was this tweet from yesterday.
Just had a great talk with Coach Brown!
— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) February 14, 2012
Presumably, that's a reference to Mike Brown, who has the unhappy task of trying to keep the Lakers at an elite level following the retirement of Zenmaster Phil Jackson. And L.A. definitely needs help right now, particularly at small forward.
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Not that Smith would hit the jackpot if he signed up with the Lake Show. As the L.A. Times notes, the squad is over the salary cap and can only offer him a salary of under $1 million -- a definite cut from his most recent Nuggets contract, which paid him $6.8 million per.
If Smith ends up rejecting such a deal, there's one place we know he won't wind up: Denver. Long before he decided to play for a team in China in anticipation of the NBA lockout, he'd torched his bridge to the team. Next time he's in the Pepsi Center, then, he'll be in another uni -- quite possibly a purple one.
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More from our Sports archive: "J.R. Smith, Wilson Chandler & Kenyon Martin: Will a Nugget win a championship -- in China?"