New York City is once again mentioned in NBA rumors and news, not because of the Knicks and their plans, but because of outside NBA game incidents which occurred in the ‘Big Apple.’ And the most recent NBA player which was involved in an incident within NY City is Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith.
It has been reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN that J.R. Smith of the Cleveland Cavaliers has been sued for $2.5 million for physical injuries and emotional distress, after an encounter outside an NY City nightclub November last year.
An alleged choking and striking incident occurred when Justin Brown, plaintiff, reportedly shouted “that’s why you got kicked out of New York” when his request for a photo with the former Knicks guard was declined.
Smith declined to comment on the details of the rumors and lawsuit, while Smith’s attorney refers to the action of Brown as “cash grab,” and that they would “defend the suit aggressively” citing a counterclaim for defamation, as ESPN highlighted.
The incident of NBA players being involved in a form of commotion or legal concerns while having fun in New York occurred more than once last year in the city. Visiting players of the Atlanta Hawks Pero Antic and Thabo Sefolosha were also reported to have been arrested on charges of obstructing justice in connection with an NY Club incident last April.
The incident led to a broken leg of Sefolosha and an early exit from 2014-2015 NBA season. And as a result, Hawks shooting guard filed a $50 millions civil suit against NYPD. David Devine of Yahoo Sports reported that:
“Sefolosha’s attorney claimed officers had wrongfully arrested and brutalized him after unjustly profiling him as ‘a black man in a hoodie.’
He’s decided to pursue the $50 million suit — a step taken with the full support of the National Basketball Players Association, the union that represents NBA players.”
Aside from the legal situation being faced by Smith and as what already experienced by Sefolosha, a stabbing incident involving Chris Copeland, a Pacers forward at that time, was also reported April last year.
According to reports, Copeland together with a female companion was rushed to Bellevue Hospital after being stabbed and slashed by a knife at a nightclub in New York. Pacers, later on, released a statement via NBA.com stating that:
“Chris Copeland suffered a knife wound to his left elbow and abdomen this morning in New York City. He is currently in stable condition at a New York hospital.”
With all these incidents involving NBA players while staying in New York, it cannot be helped to connect the dots. However, there is no apparent and reasonable connection to conclude the lax of security and strong reason for NBA players to fear for their safety while in New York.
All these reports may only lead to speculate on the safety of NBA players while having a good time in “The City that Never Sleeps;” but conclusions are still too far to be drawn from these coincidences.
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