Being a celebrity certainly has its perks. But it’s not without its obvious drawbacks. The desire for fame and recognition cuts both ways. The constant attention from fans and the media fuels a certain need, but more and more the lines are beginning to blur between what’s acceptable behavior and what crosses the line when these two worlds collide.
Mobile devices and social media make it easy to instantly document these interactions for posterity, and many fans today feel ennobled to seize these opportunities when they present themselves, at times, however, at the expense of individual privacy or, at the very least, basic decency and common courtesy.
Try to imagine, for a minute, what it must feel like to have people running up out of nowhere all the time to take pictures of you and your friends and family without asking permission. It probably doesn’t always feel great. It probably feels downright creepy and disrespectful at times.
There’s no telling what exactly went down last month in New York City when J.R. Smith allegedly took a fan’s phone and tossed it into a construction site, but something clearly set him off, and now it appears he’ll have to pay the price for it, albeit for a relatively minor legal infraction. Via Yahoo Sports:
Joined by his lawyer, Alex Spiro, Smith walked into the New York Police Department’s 10th Precinct to discuss what happened outside The Park restaurant on 10th Avenue, according to the New York Post.
Smith, who turns 33 next month, received a desk-appearance ticket and will face misdemeanor criminal mischief charges later this year in Manhattan Criminal Court.
“This is nonsense, and we’re not going to respond to nonsense,” Spiro said.
According to previous reports, Smith declined to take a photograph with a fan outside of The Park restaurant Manhattan, but the man tried to take his picture anyway. That’s when Smith allegedly took the phone and threw it into the nearby construction site.
Smith has taken a lot of heat since Game 1 of the NBA Finals when he appeared to forget the score in the final seconds and cost his team a chance to win it at the end of regulation. He’s also coming to terms with LeBron’s departure to Los Angeles this offseason. In short, he has plenty of reasons to be on edge.
Not that it condones his behavior. But so-called fans should probably calm down a little when they have a chance to interact with their favorite players and remember that, first and foremost, they’re dealing with a human being.