SPORTS
06/01/2018 12:06 pm ET Updated Jun 01, 2018

LeBron James Cuts Off Tense NBA Finals Interview On J.R. Smith

"Be better tomorrow," James told a room full of reporters.

LeBron James’ patience ran into overtime following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors on Thursday in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Mark Schwarz of ESPN pressed the superstar on what teammate J.R. Smith was thinking when he dribbled out nearly all of the waning seconds of a tied-up game.

Schwarz asked James if he knew what Smith’s state of mind was at the time or if he knew the score ― several times.

And in several ways, James answered in the negative.

“From where you stood on the court and talking to him after the play, what’s your reaction to it, what’s your version?” Schwarz asked.

“What do you mean, what’s my version?” James responded.

“Well, did he think that the game was tied, or did he think you guys had it salted away?” Schwarz said.

“How do I know that?” James said. It didn’t get better from there.

Earlier in the night, Smith had grabbed a free-throw rebound in the final seconds of regulation time. He could have shot or passed to an open teammate for a decent look, but instead dribbled away from the basket.

James’ reaction to Smith’s misstep became emblematic of Game 1 after the Cavs eventually lost to the Warriors in overtime. 

 

After Schwarz’s questions, James put down the mike and walked out.

“Be better tomorrow,” he said in the clip below as he left.

For the record, Smith claimed that he knew the score was tied but thought the team would call a timeout. However, his coach, Tyronn Lue, said Smith told him he believed the Cavs were up by 1.

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