J.R. Smith Will Not Kowtow to Hysterical "Put a Shirt On" Critics (UpdateD with more Shirtless J.R.)

Never wear a shirt, J.R. Smith.
June 22, 2016, 5:20pm

OK, now he's shirtless. A fan just yelled: "Never put on a shirt again!"
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 22, 2016

Outside of perhaps Burrito Monster Timofey Mozgov, no one has had a better time celebrating Cleveland's NBA Finals win than J.R. Smith. The most likely explanation for this is that he is J.R. Smith, but it also doesn't hurt that his upper body has been largely unencumbered by the shackles of clothing.

J.R. was seen partying in a Vegas club without a shirt on. He was seen exiting the plane from Vegas to Cleveland without a shirt on. And now, today, he is walking the streets of Cleveland for the Cavs victory parade without a shirt on. These are all places where shirts are generally expected to be worn, but J.R. makes it work (it probably goes back to that "he is J.R. Smith" thing). It doesn't work for everyone, though, especially Leave it to Beaver Character Come to Life, Joe Soucheray of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Soucheray wrote a column yesterday titled "Even for an NBA champion, is a shirt too much to ask?" and it's everything you could hope for if you, like me, only ever really feel alive when the hatred stirs in your heart while reading a truly compostable take. It is a pretty standard Back In My Day column, but it also takes some detours to some pretty weird places. Such as:

"I know young guys who worship James, Irving and the likes of J.R. Smith. These are young guys who have the hats and the jerseys and the moves on the court too, it being almost a comedy of irony that the young guys I am referring to are short. That doesn't stop them from having the moves and the swagger, too, those moves where they tug their jersey away from their chest or their hands come out and they start floating them in the manner of perhaps trying to calm down the crowd.

"I wonder what impact it might have had on kids all across the country to see the Cavs get off their airplane dressed to the nines. I would think it might give a kid pause.

"Wow, look at those guys. I have to get a tie like that."

So much to get through here. Why is it a comedy of irony that the young guys are short? Also: "the hats and the jerseys and the moves on the court." I don't know why he just listed things these comedically ironical kids wear and/or do, but that's a relatively small problem. The real problem is, he is giving bad advice to kids. I wore a tie for way too many years of my professional life. Ties are for suckers. They are a not so subtle reminder that your shitty job is strangling you to death. Don't wear a tie. Certainly don't wear a tie when you are celebrating a major life achievement in a flying bar.

There is a lot of fake whimsy on the internet these days—which is annoying in its own right—but it is a direct reaction to columns like this. People wouldn't feel so compelled to write forced posts like "OMG Look at This Cute Sports Baby!" if it weren't for the grumpy Soucherays out there who file a column asking a guy who is having probably the best time of his life to please put a shirt on, sir. For the children, and definitely not my own miserable perspective on life.

Just look at this fucking guy and his adoring masses:

JR SMITH. @sportingnews
— Sean Gentille (@seangentille) June 22, 2016

J.R. is enjoying himself, and watching other people enjoy things can also be enjoyable, incredible as that may sound. So, yes, a shirt is too much ask for if it means we don't get this picture.

Update, Because Honestly, Just Look at This!:

I love you, JR.
— Dan Favale (@danfavale) June 22, 2016


the next leader of the free world
— Vincent Van Boat (@jfurta_) June 22, 2016