One of the most memorable moments from the 2018 NBA Finals was the Cavaliers blunder late in Game 1 when J.R. Smith held on to the ball instead of shooting or passing with just 4.7 seconds left on the clock and the game tied.
The Warriors went on to take Game 1 and eventually swept the Cavs for their second straight championship.
“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, via ESPN's The Undefeated. “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, a 14-year league veteran, brushed off the mistake.
“I’ve messed up so many times in my life,” Smith said. “I mean, I can’t just point at one thing to be mad at.”
The 33-year-old is entering the third season of his four-year, $57 million contract with the Cavs. He averaged 8.3 points per game for Cleveland last season.