When 2x Finals MVP Kevin Durant spoke about JR Smith’s Game One blunder during the 2018 NBA Finals on the Jimmy Kimmel show.
The Golden State Warriors had established themselves as a dynasty, especially after the arrival of former MVP Kevin Durant. The Warriors became a juggernaut and would go on to win back-to-back championships in 2017-18.
In his first year with the Warriors, KD brought the Bay area a championship and was crowned Finals MVP. Durant was phenomenal during the Finals averaging 35 PPG and shooting an incredible 47.4% from the 3-point line.
The following year, the Warriors would sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers and be crowned back-to-back NBA champions, with KD winning his consecutive Finals MVP.
Though the Warriors dominated the 2018 NBA Finals, the highlight of the series was JR Smith’s blunder during the final moments of the match that could have changed the course of the series.
Kevin Durant takes a jibe at JR Smith’s blooper moment during the 2018 NBA Finals
There was no doubt about the Warriors being considered favorites going into the 2018 NBA Finals. While the dubs had a juggernaut, the Cavs were only left with LeBron James after Kyrie Irving forced himself out the previous off-season.
However, the Cavaliers surprised everyone with their Game One performance and had a strong chance to close the game, but JR Smith’s unfortunate choke moment would change the entire course of the series.
3 YEARS AGO TODAY
JR SMITH’s infamous blunder in GM1 of the 2018 NBA Finals.
Here’s the full heartbreaking bench videopic.twitter.com/yMjKV2kfti
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 31, 2021
With less than four seconds remaining, Smith would grab the offensive rebound and dribble it outside the perimeter in a baffling manner only to realize that the scores were tied. An animated James could be seen in a state of surprise with the entire play that Smith exhibited.
When asked about the incident on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, Kevin Durant has the following to say about the entire chaotic situation.
“I am happy he made that decision. To do that, especially with the game on the line. We needed that win for the sweep.”
Durant touched upon how that moment gave the Warriors the edge in the game, breaking the Cavs mentally.
“We knew we had to play well but we knew we kind of broke him a little bit with that one.”
JR Smith’s blunder during the game is still one of the biggest memes on social media. Though there is no denying the talent that the 35-year old possesses, the 2018 Finals incident continues to haunt the 2x champion.