Originally posted on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 5/9/13
Keen eyed observers spotted New York Knicks star J.R. Smith getting up close and personal with pop singer Rihanna just hours after his team demolished the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden the other night. Smith partied with the Barbadian beauty at the Manhattan celebrity hangout, Greenhouse, Tuesday night — and it looks like these meetings are becoming a recurring coincidence.  Rumors were flying among clubgoers that Smith was in a celebratory mood, and that Rihanna was trying to send a message to her abusive ex, Chris Brown. It was the second time in five days the pair were publicly spotted in the same club — on Saturday, they partied late at Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club — the night before Game 1 of the Knicks playoff series. Greenhouse, coincidentally, shares the same building with W.i.P., the nightclub where Brown and his nemesis Drake engaged in a nasty brawl last year, presumably over Rihanna’s affection. Rihanna with J.R. in the background Smith was criticized for partying late Saturday night into Sunday morning — the night before Game 1 in the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals — after photos of the tattooed player swigging a bottle were posted on the Internet.  Smith was ineffective the first two games but denied that he was out clubbing. First an for most I wasn't clubbing before the game so y'all can kill that. Don't try an find reasons when I miss shots! #HopOff — JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) May 5, 2013 Hey, if it's Rihanna keeping the slumping Smith out late, that's a good thing.  At least the Pacers think so.
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