How J.R. Smith's Powerful Interview Made Me Reflect On Fatherhood

 

As a former athlete, I’m a sucker for motivational speeches, and emotional post-game interviews.  There’s something endearing about watching grown-ass (wo)men break down and cry like children.  And, it’s heartwarming seeing these stars with seemingly superhuman powers exposed to be “everyday people.” 

 

Having been in similar situations, I know firsthand how easy it is for emotions to get the best of you. I’ll also admit to shedding a tear from the couch right alongside these athletes.

 

I’ve recently become a parent for the second time, and recognize the common thread during these emotional moments are sincere “thank you’s” directed towards mothers, fathers, caregivers, and family.

"My parents and family are the biggest inspirations in my life. I've been in a lot of dark spots in my life, and if it wasn't for them I wouldn't have been able to get out of it."

 

It’d be wrong to assume that everyone knows who the man in the picture is, or why he’s crying.  

 

Earl Joseph “J.R.” Smith III is a N.B.A. Basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers.  A player with unquestionable talent, J.R. has had his fair share of controversial on/off the court incidents to place his character in question.  However, on June 18, 2016, J.R. etched himself in NBA history books by winning an NBA championship.  

 

Surprisingly, it’s not winning the championship that will be remembered as Smith’s vindicating moment, rather his tear-jerking, post-game interview (fast-forward to 2:30, unless you’re a sports fan), where he states, “I know my father raised me better, I know I want to do better, and everything I do is for my parents and family.”

 

As Smith leaves the podium--emotionally and physically exhausted--he gives his father a massive hug.  We’ve all had a father, father figure, coach, or caregiver who never gave up on us no matter what we did.  This clip was a welcome reminder on Father’s Day to do the exact same for our children. 

“They fought with me, They yelled at me, They screamed at me.”
“They loved me, They hugged me, They cried with me.”
“They always stuck by my side no matter right or wrong”
-J.R. Smith

 

Jonah Batambuze is an artist, connector, and globetrotter. A first-generation Ugandan, born in the U.S., Batambuze currently resides outside London, England with his wife and two young children.  You can find Batambuze blogging, creating content, developing partnerships and managing social media all in the name of KampInd. 

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