J.R. Smith was so choked with emotion that he could barely speak after his Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Finals Sunday night, but his tears had little to do with the victory itself.
The player was asked about the influence of his father, with the win coming on Father’s Day and considering his checkered past in the NBA. Tears began welling before the reporter could even finish the question.
“I been through a lot of dark spots in my life and if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to get out of it,” he said of both his parents as his father, Earl Smith, Jr., looked on from the side of the room.
“My dad is easily one of my biggest inspirations to play this game,” Smith continued. “To hear people talk bad about me, it hurts me because I know it hurts him, and it’s not who I am. And I know he raised better and I know I wanna do better and just…everything I do is for my parents and for my family.”
Grab some tissue. After his remarks, J.R. rushed into his father’s arms and cried on his shoulder.