J.R. Smith knows what the Cleveland Cavaliers pay him for — and it’s not passing or dribbling.

The 13-year pro has developed into one of the biggest gunners in the NBA, always ready to let it fly from deep without hesitation. Of all the NBA players who logged as many minutes as he did last season, Smith was second to last with just 22.6 passes per game — Bucks wing Tony Snell (18.7) was the only player with fewer. For reference, Sixers guard T.J. McConnell lead the league with 69.6 passes per game.

On Monday Smith revealed that his shoot-first mentality wasn’t a late-career revelation — it’s something that was ingrained in him as a youngster.

“My dad always told me, ‘shoot every time you get it.’ That’s always been his motto since I was a kid,” Smith said. “He said, ‘your shot is better than a turnover. Don’t risk turning the ball over. Just shoot it.'”

Well that certainly explains a lot of what we know about J.R. Smith. Hopefully at some point Smith will reveal whether his dad told him it was a good idea to not wear a shirt for 72 consecutive hours.

Smith remains among the least frequent passers in the league this season, making just 24.5 passes per game.


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