J.R. Smith wanted to give President Obama one of his shirtless shirts
The Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday paid a visit to the White House to celebrate their NBA championship. And while a grand time was had by one and all — Mannequin Challenge with the First Lady, anyone? — the notion that J.R. Smith originally intended to give President Barack Obama one of his shirtless shirts would have taken the event to another level.
According to Kevin Love — who was charged with presenting President Obama with a personalized Cavs jersey — the original plan was for Smith to also present the President with one of the aforementioned tees.
Unfortunately, it was not to be. How everything played out, as explained by Love, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
“J.R had the Fresh Brewed Tees with the tattoos on it, so originally (LeBron James) had mentioned, ‘Kev why don’t you give him the jersey and Swish you hand him the shirts,'” Love said. “I never knew they weren’t going to let Swish do the shirts. When I heard my name called and Bron was like, ‘Kev go hand him the jersey.’ I was like, ‘What about Swish?’ It was fun. I didn’t know I was going to have to say a few words and go up there, but that was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that I got. Got down there as quick as I could, handed him the jersey and made for a great photo op. It was a cool, organic moment.”
The shirtless shirt, of course, was spawned into being courtesy of Smith’s refusal to put on a shirt during the Cavaliers’ post-championship celebrations. Smith began selling the shirtless shirts after he became the bombastic bare-chested hero of the party.
It's official. We've partnered w/ @TheRealJRSmith! https://t.co/LBVPgKAuao
— Fresh Brewed Tees (@FreshBrewedTees) June 27, 2016
Interestingly, Obama himself even took notice of Smith’s proclivity for shirtless-ness, imploring Cavs coach Tyronn Lue to “tell J.R. and everybody to put on a shirt, though,” adding, “He can’t be just walking around without a shirt for a whole week.”
On Thursday, Obama cracked wise about it, thanking Smith for wearing a shirt to the White House.
President Barack Obama thanks J.R. Smith for showing up in a shirt… https://t.co/8pdZZODncE
— NBA TV (@NBATV) November 10, 2016
Imagine what kind of scene would have played out had Smith strolled up to Obama and handed him one of those shirts? It would have made an already memorable day that much better.