Former NBA star JR Smith has had a stinging debut for the North Carolina A&T Golf Team. In what could be the most surreal sentence in history, Smith stepped into a hornet’s nest and got stung on the second day of the Elon’s Phoenix Invitational.
It’s the first-ever college golf tournament for the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year, and it’s clear he still has a long way to go. After his first two rounds, he carded a 29 over 240 to end up in 81st place out of 84 competitors. But Smith is far from feeling dejected, especially after hearing the support he got from Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns (via ESPN).
“I got a lot of great feedback. Chris Paul was telling me guys were talking about it in the locker room. Guys are really looking for my scores, so I got to take care of business so when I see them it ain’t going to be too much backlash.”
Smith and Paul spent one season together with the New Orleans Hornets (such a funny coincidence), where they probably picked up their interest in golf, the preferred alternate sport of many NBA stars.
After winning his second NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020, Smith was unable to find another team that would take him. He instead focused his attention on golf, eventually making it to North Carolina A&T as a walk-on. He’s also relishing his first college experience, regularly posting updates on Twitter.
JR Smith can still improve on his score and hopefully, create more, um, buzz.