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Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith sued for $2.5 million over alleged nightclub incident

J.R. Smith reacts to a foul call during a Cavs-Bucks game earlier in November. (Aaron Gash/Associated Press)

Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith has been sued for $2.5 million dollars for inflicting “physical injuries and emotional distress” on a man outside of New York City nightclub last November, according to court documents obtained by ESPN.

Justin Brown, who was 19 at the time of the incident, asked Smith for a photo outside a pizza restaurant near Oak1, the same nightclub in Manhattan’s Chelsea section where Thabo Sefolosha was arrested last April. According to the documents, Smith turned down the request before choking and striking Brown in the head and neck areas.

Attorney for J.R. Smith says allegations player choked high schooler are ‘absolutely false’

“If they have the audacity to file a frivolous claim against J.R., we will counterclaim for defamation and defend the suit aggressively,” said Smith’s attorney, Alex Spiro. “This was a cash grab from the start.”

Spiro also represented Sefolosha in the aforementioned incident, in which Sefolosha sued the New York City police department.

In Smith’s case, the NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney spent two months investigating the claim but did not arrest Smith or bring charges against him.

Smith, who played with the Knicks for part of last season, was visiting New York with his Cavaliers at the time of the alleged incident. He is back in the Big Apple for a stretch of two games in three days against the Knicks and Nets.