It looked bad. Any time you can’t walk off the court and they take you directly to the hospital it’s scary. Doing so in a foreign country — in this case China — adds to the tension.
But it turns out J.R. Smith’s knee injury is not that bad.
In fact, he played in the team’s second game of the season Tuesday evening in China, reports nba247365.com. Smith did not start but did come off the bench in the second quarter and seemed to be moving well.
After knowing this result, JR Smith also indicated during the interview: “I felt that now was much better, doctor told me, my injury is not very serious, I felt that I…can restore very quickly… Then I will return to Zhejiang immediately with the team…, I hope that will continue to [play] this season for Zhejiang.”
Smith’s father spoke with Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and said Smith was “walking around and just sore.”
That is a huge break for the NBA free agent to be. A lot of dollar signs had to flash in front of his eyes when he went down, Smith will be the best swingman on the market when he returns to the NBA (sometime after the Chinese season ends in March). He apparently has patched things up with his new team — Chinese teams don’t like guys going off to get their own medical opinion.
So it was all a scare over nothing. But you can bet it got some other NBA players thinking about the risks of going overseas.