It looked like LeBron James had done it.
Then J.R. Smith happened.
The Cavaliers superstar amassed 49 points in regulation, willing his team to the brink of victory in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the massively favored Warriors.
All George Hill had to do was hit the second of two free throws with 4.7 seconds left.
But Smith snagged the offensive rebound. And all he had to do was flip in the game-winner.
In fact, he took the ball and booked it away from the basket as if he’d received a pipe-thirsty DM.
With the momentum of a team who’d failed to secure victory because their fifth-best player has the court awareness of a mouse that is high and also dead, the Cavs fell in overtime, 124-114.
J.R. Smith forgot the score, no matter what he says
Though he did exactly what one should do with a one-point lead, Smith insisted after the loss that he’d been aware of the score.
“George shot the free throw, I got the rebound,” Smith told reporters. “Tie ballgame and we had a timeout. I tried to get enough space to maybe get a shot off. K.D. was standing right there. I tried to bring it out and get enough space to maybe get a shot off. I looked over at ‘Bron and he looked like he was trying to call a timeout. So I stopped, and the game was over.”
A timeout? A time-freaking-out?!
Dude, you had the ball two feet away from the basket with four seconds left. In what world were you getting a better shot following a timeout, with Golden State’s defense set?
“I knew it was tied,” he repeated. “I thought we were going to take a timeout because I got the rebound. I’m pretty sure everybody didn’t think I was going to shoot it over K.D. right there.”
Uhh, then why didn’t you — the man with the ball and therefore the man refs were actually paying attention to — you know, call a timeout?
Substantial evidence indicates J.R. is lying. Before Smith’s comments, his coach Ty Lue said the shooting guard “thought the game was over” and “thought we were up one.”
But that’s not as damning as what looks like an on-court admission to LeBron.
“I thought we were ahead.” – JR Smith pic.twitter.com/05L60BtFZe
— Casey Baker (@CaseyBake16) June 1, 2018
This guy definitely has someone else tie his shoes for him, right?