1. The reason for J.R. Smith’s one-game suspension was revealed Friday morning: According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Smith—as only he can—got in trouble because he threw a bowl of soup at Cavaliers’ assistant coach, Damon Jones. To the surprise of no one, this dominated the discussion on Twitter.
JR Smith getting in trouble for throwing soup is the funniest/greatest/dumbest/most fantastic/ridiculous thing ever.
— AC (@ac__lang) March 2, 2018
Why can’t Wikileaks publish newsworthy things like video of JR Smith throwing a bowl of soup at an assistant coach?
— Brett Hoerig (@bretthoerig) March 2, 2018
I’m interested in the procedure of the JR Smith soup toss. How did he throw it? Overhand? With both hands? Frisbee form? Slide across the table? I need answers.
— Paolo Uggetti (@PaoloUggetti) March 2, 2018
“You tryna get the pipe?”- JR Smith, 2013
“You tryna get the piping hot soup?”- JR Smith, 2018
— 12up (@12upSport) March 2, 2018
jr smith, a consomme professional
— Steve Kandell (@SteveKandell) March 2, 2018
2. What a night for Philly. The Sixers beat the Cavs and the full push to land LeBron James is under way, with The King fueling things by offering effusive praise for Ben Simmons.
I told y’all a while back that my young King was next in line! Getting better and better every night out! Tonight another example of that. Fun to watch and compete against you again and #TheProcess @joelembiid. Remember lil bro settle for nothing less than GREATNESS!!! @bensimmons
A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on Mar 1, 2018 at 9:52pm PST
A post shared by Joel “The Process” Embiid (@joelembiid) on Mar 1, 2018 at 8:52pm PST
3. A new study says the baseballs are responsible for the recent power surge in Major League Baseball. This did not surprise Astros pitcher Justin Verlander, who had some strong feelings about the subject.
All I’m saying is I don’t care if balls are juiced (seriously). We’re all using the same ball so it’s a fair field. My issue is I don’t like being lied to. I knew something was different. Century old records are being broken and numbers are skewed.
— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) March 2, 2018
4. With the Academy Awards taking place this Sunday, various members of the SI.com staff have written about their favorite baseball movie. I was proud to defend the honor of “Fever Pitch.” Please read the piece before you send me a tweet to make fun of me. And, in the spirit of the Oscars, you can go here to explore the collection of movies offered on SI TV on Amazon channels.
5. Since this is the day and age of offshore betting, SportsHandle.com decided to interview an old-school sports bookie and it was pretty fascinating.
6. The latest episode of “Off The Board” features an interview with Deadspin and GQ writer Drew Magary, followed by an appearance by Crossover TV hosts, and my colleagues, Rohan Nadkarni and Matt Dollinger. Magary talks about the old days of blogging at Kissing Suzy Kolber, the pros and cons of covering sports and politics and the NBA’s dominance over the NFL when it comes to the Web.
Nadkarni and Dollinger,who recently interviewed Kevin Hart at All-Star weekend, discuss a few NBA topics before the conversation turns to Ronda Rousey’s legitimacy and the WWE.
7. RANDOM WRESTLING VIDEO OF THE DAY: Back in 2003, LeBron James attended a “Monday Night Raw” show. Check out how young he looked and the flip phone he used to snap picks of Stone Cold Steve Austin.
The best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina’s Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts. And check Jimmy Traina’s weekly podcast, “Off The Board,” on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher.
IN CLOSING: The split-the-defenders-and-behind-the-back-dribble-the-ball-through-Tristan-Thompsons-legs move that LeBron pulled off last night is one of the greatest plays ever.