When the Knicks traded J.R. Smith to the Cavaliers last week, they began to gut their team in earnest and prepare for the windfall that is the NBA draft lottery. But while the Knicks were looking to the future, gentleman’s clubs in New York City were quietly mourning the loss of their own windfall from the recent past – J.R. Smith was sighted nearly as often at NYC strip clubs as he was chucking ill-advised threes with the game on the line.
But New York City’s loss is Cleveland’s gain, and the gentleman establishments of The Forest City are more than ready to host the greatest partier currently in the association. Maxim spoke with four of the top strip clubs in Cleveland about what they can offer J.R. by way of service, hospitality, and, of course, women.
Diamond Men’s Club
What Makes Them Special: “We’ve been here since 1968, so we’re one of the oldest clubs in the city,” says Operations Manager Frank Maenza. “The entertainers are beautiful. The staff is amazing. We have girls here who are beautiful, intelligent, going to school during the day, working at night.”
Why J.R. Should Choose Them: “Security is adequate, we have a great VIP section, and J.R. has been in the league, he knows his way around – he’s not Johnny [Manziel],” Maenza explains. “We’ve had a lot of sports figures here: Cavs, Indians, Browns. They all have found privacy and had a great time. J.R. would have an amazing time here.”
What Makes Them Special: “We’re downtown, landmarked, and been here since 1976,” says Day Shift Manager Dale Tursi. “We pride ourselves on the quality of the women who perform, and not the quantity. Our menu is fantastic, and we’re all about customer service. We’re a smaller boutique club, so when you come in, you get a handshake and greeting. We’re not just running you through a meat grinder.”
Why J.R. Should Choose Them: “When J.R. walks in, we’ll get some ladies over, buy him a drink and make him feel comfortable,” Tursi guaranteed. “We’ve had Varejao in here before, Kellen Winslow, a lot of Cleveland athletes. We’re as Cleveland as it gets, so we’d also let J.R. know how welcome he is in Cleveland and how thirsty we are for a championship.”
What Makes Them Special: “Gorgeous women, delicious food, and a pool table,” says Door Girl Melanie Rivera. “The girls slide down a pole just to get on to the stage, what’s not great about that?”
Why J.R. Should Choose Them: “Clean club, man, with a no tolerance policy for trouble,” Rivera claims. “No contest, we are one of the top clubs in the nation.”
What Makes Them Special: “I’m not even going to try to sell our club to you,” says anonymous Door Girl (she didn't wish to be identified). “We’re all about privacy and quality – not trying to sell anyone on what we do.”
Why J.R. Should Choose Them: “From having football players, Cavs, no one bothers them here," explains whatever-her-name-was. "Whatever females you want, we’ll send them over. But I don’t even have to try to sell it. He’ll know why we’re the best.”
While the economic impact of LeBron's return to Cleveland has been exhaustively studied and debated, we know that J.R. Smith's own form of stimulus can put money directly into the hands (or g-strings) of these proud local establishments.
Photos by Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images