JR Smith was initially devastated after committing a massive error against the eventual champion Golden State Warriors in the waning seconds of Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals, but quickly moved on.
“We’ve all messed up,” said Smith in an interview with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, while recalling how he infamously ran the clock out following an offensive rebound despite the game being tied at 107.
JR was re-assured by then-Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue that he made a “basketball play and it didn’t work out.”
Per CBS Sports (via Showtime‘s video podcast “All The Smoke”):
“If it’s my fault and you want to pin it on me? All right, cool,” Smith said. “I hit [Tyronn Lue] that night and I was like, ‘Bro, I don’t even know what to say.’ He was like, ‘Bro, what are you talking about? You made a basketball play and it didn’t work out. It happens.’ “
LeBron James, for instance, revealed after the series that he suffered a self-inflicted hand injury when he punched a blackboard after the game. Smith spoke very positively about James in the interview, and James himself has never blamed Smith publicly for the play. Smith doesn’t seem to blame himself either. As he explained, he got over the mistake quickly.
“I laughed about that sh– that night … I’m not a person to hold on to sh–. I’m not going to hold on to no grudges,” Smith said. “I’ll never forget it but players f— up, it just so happened that mine was in the Finals. … We’ve all messed up.”