JR Smith, Michael Jordan
Coastal Athletic Association

JR Smith talks playing golf with Steph Curry, gambling with Michael Jordan

JR Smith talks about getting ‘smoked’ by Steph Curry in golf and how much he and Michael Jordan have played for.

North Carolina A&T golfer and NBA champion JR Smith has played golf with some of the greatest NBA players of all-time, including Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry.

Smith told Jemele Hill he’s played Jordan about five times, and the games have mostly been competitive. He said he has bet Michael Jordan, but mostly for about $500.

“He has games with people like myself. And then he has games with his boys when the numbers is real crazy,” Smith said. “I ain’t getting in that one. I’m gonna stay here, go ahead and boogey. He be over there $5-10,000 putts and all this other s—t. I ain’t doing that. Nah, bruh. I ain’t even a member yet.”

Smith was asked on a recent podcast episode of ‘Jemele Hill is Unbothered’ about the best NBA player he’s golfed against, and he didn’t hesitate to give it to the four-time NBA champion. Hill asked Smith if he won and he was very candid about it.

“Nah, he smoked me. He beat me by like 15 shots,” Smith said with a laugh. “I think this was like at CP (Chris Paul) wedding in Charlotte. I ain’t played with him since, though. But I can get him now though.”

Stephen Curry, of course, is a sponsor and booster for Howard University golf. Smith, meanwhile, is heading into his junior year at North Carolina A&T. 

Smith said he had to change his approach to school over time.

Stephen Curry hosts fundraiser for Howard Golf, Michael Jordan
Steph Curry hosts fundraiser for Howard Golf

“I was trying to accelerate it and graduate in three years and do all this other stuff and I was like, ‘let me slow walk this thing,” Smith told Hill. “It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of papers hitting this desk.” 

Smith said he currently works with a tutor and carves out three hours a day, five days per week, to keep up with his coursework. 

“My first year — last year — I literally tried to do it like high school,” Smith said. “I was literally getting burned out to not doing nothing to locking in like I’m in an office or something. My brain was literally crashed with information. It started affecting my golf game.” 

Smith said he is done with his prerequisites in the classroom and is looking forward to finishing strong. 

“I’m really excited about the next two years because I really get to pick and choose the meat and potatoes of what I really want to learn,” Smith told Hill.

Smith said that attending predominately white high schools was the driving force behind his desire to go to an HBCU. 

“I knew I wanted to learn from people that looked like me. I felt like — for one — they not going to sugarcoat nothing,” Smith said. 

Beyond golf and grades, Smith indicated that his time at North Carolina A&T has impacted his way of thinking as a whole. 

“That Eurocentric mindset is a tough thing to break. And for me, I knew, that’s one thing I didn’t want to have going forward. It’s harder because once you really understand it — you got kids — it’s like s—t. I put my kids behind the 8-Ball. Now I gotta de-program y’all,” Smith said with a chuckle. “But it’s for real. I’m on it. We on it.”

JR Smith talks playing golf with Steph Curry, gambling with Michael Jordan
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