It was Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals between the usual contenders for the 4th consecutive time since 2015, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors which was held in the Oracle Arena.
The game was tied in the 4th quarter at 107-107 as George Hill was shooting his 2nd free throw. Hill later missed his 2nd free throw, but JR Smith was at the right spot for the offensive rebound with 4.6 seconds remaining. Smith took the rebound, and almost ran to the other side of the court while LeBron was yelling at him.
JR Smith said he thought the Cavaliers were going to call a timeout when he grabbed the ball in the last few seconds of the fourth quarter, which is why he didn't take a critical and potentially game-winning shot with the score tied.
"It was a tie ballgame, and we had a timeout," Smith said. "I tried to get enough space in between us, obviously, Kevin Durant was standing right there. I tried to get enough space to bring it out to maybe get a shot off. And then I looked over at LeBron, and he looked like he was trying to call a timeout. So I stopped. And then the game was over," Smith said.
This video features uncut raw video of what really happened right after JR Smith's mistake. LeBron James almost broke down into tears after asking coach Tyronn Lue if they were out of timeouts. LeBron James' 51 points weren't enough as Golden State Warriors survived in overtime with a 124-114 win over Cleveland. Stephen Curry finished the game with 29 points, followed by Kevin Durant's 26 points, and Klay Thompson's 24 points.
● LeBron James is 32 years old now, and he entered the NBA league back in 2003 with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he had been playing at the Quicken Loans Arena for almost 11 years now. Sports Illustrated put him on the cover the prior year as a high school junior with the claimed tagline: “The Chosen One.” Nike inked him to a seven-year, $90 million deal while he was still in high school. James has become the superstar icon in Cleveland itself, and the Cleveland Cavaliers has decided to place a new LeBron James banner outside of Quicken Loans Arena.
LeBron James has been one of the hottest names on the endorsement trail as well, locking up partnerships with Nike, Coca-Cola (Sprite), Beats By Dre, State Farm Insurance, Kia Motors, Intel, Progressive Insurance, Samsung, Verizon Wireless, McDonald's, Powerade, and Blaze Pizza.
James is on the Mount Rushmore of the most influential and popular active athletes on the planet. His 41 million Facebook followers is second behind only Cristiano Ronaldo among athletes. He sells more of his signature shoes for Nike than any other active athlete.
Back in 2016, LeBron James has reportedly donated an unprecedented $41 million to put 1,100 Ohio kids through college, which is part of his partnership with the University Of Akron, in which kids enrolled in his "I Promise" program will have the opportunity to receive a fully guaranteed four-year college scholarship. Through his "I Promise" program, students who are qualified will get a scholarship that will cover their entire college degree tuition and the general service fee from the university.
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