Skip to content

J.R. Smith reflects on infamous NBA Finals gaffe: 'We've all messed up'

Jason Miller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Warning: Story contains coarse language

J.R. Smith's blunder in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals left many dumbfounded, but the former Cleveland Cavaliers guard says he was able to quickly move past it.

"I laughed about that shit that night. ... I'm not a person to hold on to shit. I'm not going to hold on to no grudges," Smith told retired NBAers Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on Showtime's "All The Smoke." "I'll never forget it, but ... you fuck up. It ain't the first time. It just so happened my shit was in the Finals. ... We've all messed up."

With the Cavs and Golden State Warriors tied at 107 late in the fourth quarter, Smith grabbed an offensive rebound off George Hill's missed free throw and dribbled the ball out to the 3-point line, squandering a chance for a game-winning shot. Cleveland went on to lose 124-114 in overtime.

Smith told Barnes and Jackson then-Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue was supportive after the game.

"I hit T-Lue that night and I was like, 'Yo, man. Bro, I don't even know what to say,'" Smith recalled. "He's like, 'Bro, what are you talking about? You made a basketball play, it didn't work out, and it happens.'"

The Cavaliers waived the 34-year-old Smith in July after four-and-a-half seasons with the team.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox