Jabari Smith Jr. is currently in the midst of a solid sophomore campaign with the Houston Rockets.
Despite the team undergoing a myriad of changes over the summer, Smith’s numbers are holding strong from last year. His 12.7 points per game are on par with the 12.8 points he averaged one season prior – only the percentages are way better this time around.
Last year Smith shot 40.8 percent from the field and 30.7 percent from beyond the arc; this season he is shooting 49.7 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from three. He is also averaging 8.5 rebounds per game, up from 7.2 rebounds per game last season.
On the strength of his good numbers alone, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Smith trending online. Unfortunately, while he did go viral this weekend, it wasn’t for anything the 20-year-old did on the court.
Rather, the reason Smith blew up online was because of a photo that began circulating of him and his alleged sister-in-law:
NBA fans never bite their tongues about anything, as evidenced by the responses to Zion Williamson’s own trainer calling him fat and Adam Silver’s explanation for why Kyrie Irving got suspended but Josh Giddey didn’t.
This particular situation proved to be no exception to that:
Jabari Smith Jr hugging his sister in law like this is insane 😭 pic.twitter.com/vjwcki3qGO
— Old NBA Tweets (@oldnbatweetz) December 10, 2023
There was just one big problem with the brouhaha that photo caused – it didn’t accurately depict what occurred.
Smith wasn’t getting intimate with his sister-in-law there, it was the sister-in-law who published the photo. The Rockets star was actually with his partner there.
I am the sister in law! I posted him and his girlfriend (my sister) haha https://t.co/v4xx3PFbNM
— Wenni (@saintkenni) December 10, 2023
Fortunately, because this was something of an innocent mistake, all parties involved will likely be able to laugh about it later.
Zach Wilson’s Girlfriend’s Photo Goes Viral After Jets Win: https://t.co/u1AoolZOoY
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 11, 2023
Besides, Smith has bigger fish to fry. Houston is currently one of the league’s more exciting young teams, and he plays a big part in why that is the case.
Can Smith guide the Rockets into the playoffs this year and really solidify himself as an emerging big name in the NBA? An answer one way or the other will emerge this season.
Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7’s go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.