BEIJING — J.R.Smith nearly got involved in a fight with some fans at a road game in China after his sister, a spectator, tossed a bottle onto the court to protest a hard foul.
With 4 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, Smith was blocked by Bayi’s center Xu Zhonghao, and fell against an advertisement board. No foul was called.Sitting in the crowd of fans, Smith’s sister and girlfriend were irritated because it appeared dangerous. To show her anger, Smith’s sister threw a bottle into the court.
One female fan who sat in front of them turned back and criticized Smith’s sister for the behavior. A fight broke out between the two women. When Smith saw it, he immediately rushed to the audience area. A Chinese version of the Palace brawl was averted when Smith was stopped by his teammate.
After the game, the woman who fought with Smith’s sister stepped on Smith’s team bus and asked to apologize. But Smith and his sister were not there. She started to instigate other fans. More than one hundred fans encircled the bus for about 40 minutes until local police came. Deadspin has photos.
In the conflict with the fans, Smith’s girlfriend’s hand was injured, and there were rumors she cried in the locker room. Many people worried that Smith would leave China before the end of this CBA season, using this incident as an excuse. Even before this took place, it was rumored that Smith and Wilson Chandler would not be back to the CBA after the break for Chinese New Year.
According to Zhao Bing, the GM of Zhejiang, Smith will not leave China before the end of season. “He will go to Hong Kong after the game with Bayi for the extension of his visa. Then, he will absolutely be back.”
Smith’s sister said via Twitter: “This CBA season is ending, Smith will of course finish it.”
Multiple sources said Chandler plans to return to the U.S. during the Chinese New Year, and may not come back.
Guan Weijia is a columnist for Titan Sports, The Beijing News and qq.com. He also is a regular contributor to SheridanHoops.com.