JR Smith stays quiet on details surrounding soup toss, suspension

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith addressed his one-game soup-throwing suspension Saturday, admitting that even he found the internet's meme-mania reaction to be humorous.

"Some of them were actually pretty funny," Smith said. "I understand that everything I do is going to have a meme or whatever behind it. That's just part of the day and age we live in. If this was 15 years ago, nobody would have even knew. It's just part of the game."

Smith was suspended for the Cavs' 108-97 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers for throwing a bowl of soup at assistant coach Damon Jones on Thursday, multiple sources with knowledge of the incident told ESPN.

Smith opted not to speak to the media Friday and offered little illumination Saturday when asked about what happened between him and Jones that led to the soup toss.

When asked what further detail he could provide about the incident, Smith replied, "Nothing."

He didn't even share what type of soup it was.

"Uh," Smith said, "honestly I don't even remember."

Smith would not say whether he believed the act deserved a suspension or not.

"It's not really my call," Smith said. "More than anything, I talked to my teammates about it, everybody seemed cool. We moved on from it as a team, so whether it warranted a suspension or not, that's not my job. I'm just here to play basketball."

But not here to watch basketball, apparently. Smith didn't bother to tune into the loss to the Sixers when he was suspended.

"I didn't watch the game," Smith said. "When I'm not a part of the game, it's hard for me to watch -- and that's whether I'm watching somebody else or watching my team. I don't watch basketball in my spare time."

Smith also said he did not have any specific conversation with Jones in the days that have passed.

The 14-year-veteran was asked if the incident had anything to do with his season-long struggles on the court. He's averaging 8.3 points on 39.1 percent from the field and 36.3 percent from 3-point range.

"I have an idea of what I want to say, but I'm not going to say it, so I'm going to leave that as it is," Smith said.

LeBron James took a similar tact when asked on Saturday if he attempted to broker and peace between Smith and Jones.

"Ain't got nothing to do with me," James said. "No. Momma told me a long time ago to mind your business. Stay out of grown folks' business that ain't got nothing to do with me. That's what I did."

The Cavs host the Denver Nuggets on Saturday and will try to recapture the momentum they had by going 2-0 with their new-look team at the start -- a stark contrast to their 2-3 record since the All-Star break.

"Just getting out there with my team and trying to get back on the right path," Smith said when asked what was on his mind. "We lost a game that, you know, we definitely could have won or should have won and just trying to get back out there."

James offered an endorsement of Smith, one of the four remaining members from the Cavs' 2016 championship team along with himself, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson.

"Well, I think he knows how important he is to our ball club," James said. "Both offensively and defensively since he got here. ... We know it's been a challenging year for him, but we expect for him to be there when we need him."

Smith said that he understands that the soup suspension compromises his leadership position as one of the championship members of the team.

"It just sucks to be going through a process that we're going through right now with myself to be looked at ... to be looked at as one of the leaders and one of the heads of this team and to be going through this situation," Smith said. "But everybody has their ups and downs. I can't say I hope they learn from my mistakes, I just hope they don't do it. But it definitely puts perspective for the younger guys."

Smith already learned from one of his own mistakes when he walked off the court while the ball was in play to greet Jason Terry during a road game against the Milwaukee Bucks last season.

With that mistake in mind, he does not plan to engage with former teammate Richard Jefferson -- who will be making his first return to Cleveland after being traded to Denver -- during the game.

"I'm going to try not to, actually," Smith said. "Talking to him gets you really distracted, and as you all know I'm not too good with that with guys on the sideline. I'll try to talk to him after and before the game."