Raheel Ramzanali: What really happened on the J.R. Smith play

What really happened to J.R. Smith? Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

We’re almost a week removed from one of the greatest misplays in NBA Finals history and I still have no closure from J.R. Smith’s gaffe. We’ve seen the memes, the uncut footage, and various explanations, but I still don’t believe any of it. In an attempt to find the truth, I want to present four explanations as to why J.R. Smith forgot the score and forgot what was happening during Game 1 of the NBA Finals:

  1. Maybe J.R. Smith was so caught off-guard with George Hill missing the go-ahead free throw that he froze and couldn’t understand how an 81% playoff free throw shooter could miss such an easy free throw in a game that nobody gave them a chance in. I think J.R. truly didn’t believe it was possible and when the moment happened he didn’t want to believe it so he ran towards the bench with the ball thinking Hill hit it and wanted him to have the game ball.

  2. Maybe J.R. was so caught off-guard with the in-game tweet From Kanye West about his album debut listening party that he forgot the score. Look, I know Kanye’s not the same, but a lot of people still look forward to his new music and J.R. like many were hyped when they saw Kanye would be streaming his album for the masses during Game 1 one of the finals. Unfortunately, Kanye didn’t stream it until after the game so maybe J.R., like me, was frustrated from waiting and lost track of the score.

  3. 14 million possible futures and THIS was the one that worked out? Like many, I’m still struggling to comprehend the end of Infinity War. In fact, sometimes I start thinking about it and forget that I’m driving and find myself in a panic braking really hard. I know financially they can’t kill off all of these characters, but I need to know how THIS was the one way to end Thanos. I know comic book movies bring out the nerd in all of us and I don’t think J.R. is a comic book nerd, but the movie did also bring in a trillion dollars or something so maybe he was just thinking about the end of the Avengers during a pivotal time in the game.

  4. Maybe J.R. is so thankful for LeBron’s guidance in his career that he decided to help open the door for “LeBron has no help in Cleveland and should leave at the end of the year” takes. By being the ultimate friend and teammate, J.R. gave evidence to the NBA world as to why LeBron should leave and try to win a title with another team. If the Cavs win that game and eventually lose the series in 5 or 6, the talk would be about how the Cavs are one piece away from beating the Warriors. Now that they’re facing a sweep, nobody will fault LeBron for leaving the Cavs and all of that started with one, J.R. Smith.

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