'Whooped his ass': NBA star beats up alleged vandal during riots

Former NBA player JR Smith was seen attacking a man who he claims broke windows on his car in an area far away from any of the police protests in Los Angeles. Pictures: TMZ Sports/Getty Images

Amid political protests and violence in Los Angeles, a video has emerged of NBA veteran J.R. Smith beating up a person he accused of vandalising his truck.

In the video published by TMZ, Smith can be seen repeatedly kicking and punching the person on a Los Angeles street.

'PLAIN ANGRY': Michael Jordan speaks out amid George Floyd protests

‘POWERFUL’: NBA legend's heartbreaking George Floyd speech

The alleged vandal is on the ground at the beginning of the video before fleeing as a crowd begins to form.

Smith had posted a preemptive video on in his Instagram story on Saturday explaining the situation, alleging the person had broken the window of his truck in a residential area.

“I just want you all to know right now, before you all see this s**t somewhere else. One of these little motherf***ing white boys didn’t know where he was going and broke my f***ing window in my truck,” Smith said.

“Broke my s**t. This was a residential area. No stores over here. None of that s***. Broke my window, I chased him down and whooped his ass.

“So when the footage comes out and you all see it, I chased him down and whooped his ass.

“This ain’t no hate crime. I ain’t got no problem with nobody and nobody got no problem with me.

“There’s a problem with the motherf***ing system, that’s it.

“The motherf***er broke my window and I whooped his ass. He didn’t know who window he broke and he got his ass whooped.”

JR Smith, LeBron James speak out over George Floyd death

Smith most recently played in the NBA during the 2018-19 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, though he hasn’t explicitly announced his retirement.

Known for his strong outside shooting and eccentric behaviour, Smith played in the league for 15 seasons.

That career was highlighted by a championship in 2016 alongside his friend LeBron James (the two were seen riding bikes together the same day of the truck incident).

LA Lakers star James was one of many athletes, including WNBA legend Lisa Leslie, to speak out against the officers involved, drawing comparisons between a picture of the now former policeman kneeling on Floyd’s neck, and an image of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was blackballed from the league over his Black Lives Matter protests during the national anthem.

“Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it still blurred to you?? #StayWoke,” James captioned his Instagram post.

Two-time WNBA champion and three-time MVP Leslie took to Twitter, sharing the same image as James with an equally emotive caption.

“If anybody that follows me is not outraged about these senseless attacks on BLACK MEN, please stop following me!” Leslie said.

“If your spirit is not disturbed, please stop following me! This inflicted Pain but it will never inflict FEAR... sorry, were not made like that!”

With Yahoo Sport US