Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith will never live down his Game 1 gaffe in the NBA Finals when he forgot the score and dribbled the ball out in the waning seconds with a chance to get a crucial win, shifting the entire series. The Cavs’ chances were essentially done.
Unfortunately, that moment will follow Smith for the rest of his career. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst took a subtle jab at Smith for the play after hearing the news of Michael Beasley signing with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
LeBron James played a season with Michael Beasley in Miami. They had no major issues & LeBron said he respected Beasley's talent. I mean Erik Spoelstra decided Beas was unplayable in the postseason due to defensive lapses. But in fairness I don't recall him forgetting the score.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 20, 2018
Beasley is a well-known headcase throughout the league, but Windhorst is right; he’s never had a meltdown akin to Smith’s in the Finals.
LeBron James certainly has a knack for attracting the most interesting and enigmatic players in the league. There are a number on the Lakers’ current roster, as Beasley joins Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, and Rajon Rondo.
Some of LeBron’s former teammates were wild cards in their own right, like Chris “Birdman” Andersen and Delonte West. For one reason or another, LeBron has attracted these kinds of players throughout his career.
Beasley is known for his antics on and off the court, but there is no way he can top Smith’s bonehead play in the Finals. If anything, Beasley would have shot the ball even if his team was winning in that situation.
Beasley’s never seen a shot he didn’t like, earning him the Walking Bucket. To be fair, he had a solid comeback season in 2017-18, averaging 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game for the New York Knicks.