J.R. Smith says it's "hard" to play against Knicks

- Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith is back in town to take on his old team, the NY Knicks, and to host a fundraiser for disadvantaged children.

The South Jersey native who has been with the Cavs for two seasons admits it's bittersweet to return.

“It’s always hard for me playing against my former team especially seeing players you used to see every day, but it will be great to get back," said Smith.

The NBA star got his start in professional basketball at the tender age of 19 when he signed with the New Orleans Hornets.

Although he was making big money early on, his parents didn't allow him access to all of it.

"Without them I wouldn't be where I am. My parents kept me on an even scale. Even though I had money, I really didn’t. I was on an allowance," said Smith, 30.

His first splurge? 

"A Chrysler 300. Not a Benz or anything like that," said Smith.

The fundraiser for the J.R. Smith Foundation at Stage 48 in Manhattan is an opportunity for the once local kid to give back to his community.

"A lot of children don’t have the resources. I have the fortune to be able to help kids," said Smith.

The J.R. Foundation will be raising money Friday to pay for basketball and cheerleading camps.

"There will be a silent auction, jerseys, sneakers, lots of basketball stuff, of course. It will be a lot of fun," said Smith.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased at the door.

For more information on Casino Night, visit TeamSwish.com.

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