The Cleveland Cavaliers J.R. Smith made one of the all-time NBA blunders this past NBA Finals series against the Golden State Warriors, pretty much blowing the Cavs' only chance to steal a game against the Dubs and perhaps change the tide of the series altogether.
With the scores tied and less than 10 seconds to go, George Hill missed a crucial free throw that would've put Cleveland up one. But Smith miraculously grabbed an offensive rebound over Kevin Durant to give the Cavs one more shot at a Game 1 win. To everyone's dismay however, Smith proceeded to dribble out the rest of the game clock, not even attempting a game-winning shot because he thought the Cavaliers were already up.
Immediately after the game J.R. was etched into the history of the NBA with the entire internet exploding because of his blunder, the iconic image of LeBron looking dumbfounded towards an oblivious J.R. searing itself into NBA fan's minds the world over.
Speaking to The Undefeated this past week though, Smith says he feels like his error was an honest mistake, and that everyone makes mistakes from time to time.
“It was tough, but it was the same after Game 2, 3 and 4. I didn’t take it no harder than those losses just because I made a mistake,” Smith said. “We all make mistakes. For my teammates to know that and have my back, [Game 1] wasn’t that bad. Talked to my coaches, everybody stood behind me 100 percent. The main thing was, OK, granted, you didn’t shoot the ball, but what if you ain’t get the rebound? Then what? We still would have been in the same situation. I could have shot and missed. Then what?
“I mean, it’s an honest mistake. People make mistakes all the time.”
Smith has a good point there. Without the offensive rebound, the Cavaliers would have never been in a position to win the game in regulation in the first place, and more likely than not, the Warriors would have won the game, and there wouldn't have been an OT to begin with.
Still, because of J.R's brain fade, he'll go down in history for all the wrong reasons.