J.R. Smith, Olivia Harlan Dekker Clash About Sam Dekker's Alleged Trump Support
By Liam McKeone
J.R. Smith is apparently not a huge fan of Sam Dekker. In fact, Dekker is the only teammate of Smith's that he didn't get along with. Or that's how Smith tells it, at least.
Smith and Dekker played together for only a brief spell in 2018. Dekker got hurt after a few weeks as a Cleveland Cavalier and was then traded to the Washington Wizards. This was long enough for Smith to determine he did not like him one bit. Appearing on All Things Covered, a podcast hosted by Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden, Smith explained why Dekker was the only teammate he didn't get along with. From the 35:35 mark:
"Throughout my whole career, there's only one teammate I don't like. He know that. Everybody else I'm cool with. Man, this dude Sam Dekker. This dude. He said some bullshit on the bus one day, talking some Trump shit. And I just wasn't having it... The question he asked, it's a thought pattern. You were taught that. It's the hate you give. The privilege he has was taught to him, and he took heed of it and run with it even further than somebody... who was oblivious to what they have and the life they lived. Because some people just go through their life not necessarily knowing, but not aware and privy to someone else's circumstances. He’s a person who’s just very aware of somebody else’s circumstances and want to keep them there, as opposed to try to help him elevate up. And I don’t respect anything about that."- J.R. Smith
Dan Feldman over at NBC Sports aggregated that content and tweeted it out. Sam Dekker's wife, Olivia Harlan Dekker, called Smith's comments "extremely inaccurate" and asked everybody to look to the source.
Smith responded succinctly and did not back down.
Harlan Dekker told Smith straight-up Dekker was not a supporter of one Donald Trump and wondered aloud about his motives.
Strong words from both sides. I don't believe we'll be getting any firm conclusion to this saga, though.
UPDATE: Smith clarified that he never said Dekker used a racial slur.