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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019

Disgusted JR Smith says tanking 'was always the plan' for Cavs after LeBron

James visits the Cavaliers with his LA Lakers outfit this Wednesday.

The Cavs' JR Smith
The Cavs' JR Smith

JR SMITH HAS accused the Cleveland Cavaliers of having no interest in winning, believing their plan was always to “develop and lose to get lottery picks” after LeBron James’ departure.

The struggling Cavs – who fired coach Tyronn Lue after just six games of the campaign – lost 113-102 to the Detroit Pistons on Monday to slip to a league-worst 2-13 record.

Smith is averaging a career-low 6.7 points per game in his 15th NBA season and is unhappy with the team’s lack of ambition, despite plenty of pre-season talk about a playoff push.

“I don’t think the goal is to win. The goal isn’t to go out there and try to get as many wins as you can,” Smith told The Athletic.

I think the goal is to develop and lose to get lottery picks. I think that was always the plan.

While he understands the business side of basketball, Smith reiterated that he wants no part in Cleveland’s plans while they are giving less than 100%.

The 33-year-old has publicly stated he wants out of Cleveland but has been reluctant to accept a buyout, believing it sends the wrong message.

“I don’t want my legacy to be remembered like that in Cleveland,” he said.

“I don’t think that’s fair to the people I see every single day walking around the arena. I don’t think that’s fair to the trainers or equipment guys. I just look at it differently than being traded.

“I don’t like the statement of getting bought out.”

The Cavs host James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday in what will be the 14-time All-Star’s first appearance in Cleveland since announcing his exit.

- Omni

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