Every now and then a story arrvies that sounds too good to be true. For the time being, this is the category under which we must file the story of J.R. Smith choking out a 19-year-old, braces-wearing Harlem high school student outside a Manhattan pizza place after Smith refused to take a selfie with him. It is, at the moment, merely an allegation. But, friends, what an allegation it is.
According to the New York Daily News, 19-year-old Justin Brown approached Smith around 4 a.m. at the branch of the New York chainlet Artichoke Basille's Pizza; it's the one located, naturally, right near the Chelsea nightclub 1 Oak. (Yes, the name of the pizza place is Arti_choke_. Do I need to hold your hand through this one?) What set Smith off, you ask? It was that after Smith refused, the kid retorted, "That's why New York kicked you out, yo!"
There's so much about this to love. The smart-ass kid, the braces, the pizza—pretty good, actually—the confluence of a popular nightclub and some extremely J.R. Smith behavior. But wait. There's more.
Sources say Brown's friends have a video of J.R. Smith walking away as Brown dissed Smith's trade to the Cavs, right before J.R. put the choke to him. Police were on hand at the time the incident happened, and said that an initial report was "lost." Brown went in to file another report three days later, when police told him that they didn't have an initial report.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Smith had previously served time in 2009 for his involvement in a fatal collision, and was also arrested in 2012 for driving in Florida without a license. Speaking on the pizza-teenager-choking incident, Smith's lawyer Alex Spiro said, "The allegation is completely false." It may well be false, although the fact that there's a story corroborated by several witnesses does seem to suggest otherwise.
Right now, though, all we know for sure is that this is some extremely J.R. Smith shit.