After a six-game absence, Dennis Smith Jr made his return to the Mavs and put up 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in just 21 minutes against the Pistons. In attendance, was one of Smith’s biggest long-time supporters: hip-hop artist J. Cole, who once called himself a “poor man’s Dwyane Wade.”
“I’ve kind of gotten used it,” Said Smith, when asked about Cole going crazy on the sidelines after one of his plays. “He sat courtside at almost every home game at NC State. He came out to the summer league and sat courtside. He’s just been out touring and finally made it back and came out to show his love. So I appreciate it.”
The relationship between the Fayetteville stars goes back to 2014 when Cole invited a 17-year-old Smith to a private listening party for his album ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive.’ It was also in 2014 when this video of Cole, at a roller rink, challenged Smith to a game of basketball.
A few days after the challenge, they ended up playing in a pick-up game at an elementary school. And it was on this day the 6’3″ Cole learned first-hand why Smith was the #1 ranked point guard in the nation. He also got to see Smith’s freakish athleticism in action on this layup attempt.
According to this interview in The USA Today, Smith sounded surprised and pretty impressed by Cole’s game.
“He came out aggressive the first game and scored a good amount of his team’s buckets,” Said Smith. “Then I was like, ‘Wow, dude can hoop for real!’ It was more competitive than I expected, and that in itself was respectable.
“It was a good run; definitely looking forward to the next one!”
Besides a good run, the Grammy-nominated artist also gave Smith some wise advice about school.
Definitely about my grades and keeping them up. He was a smart guy growing up. He told me to stay focused on ball and then he asked me the main question that I’m asked from everybody: ‘What college do I want to go to?’
He’s a big UNC fan. He told me that ‘I’m a UNC fan, but I want you to go wherever is best for you.’
Despite going to North Carolina State instead of UNC, Cole continued to support Smith and was a common sight on the sidelines, celebrating when Smith would put a defender on a poster (see below).
I don’t expect to see Cole at too many Dallas Mavs games but if he does show, and Smith does show out, it probably won’t be too hard to spot Cole on the sidelines.
Source: Dallas News