We all remember the infamous J.R. Smith game. LeBron James definitely isn’t forgetting that anytime soon. It was so frustrating with the game theirs for the taking, that nobody would’ve blamed LeBron James for destroying something with his bare hands in anger.
Apparently, that’s exactly what happened.
J.R. Smith’s incredible blunder in the closing moments was a clear stimulus.
The Cleveland Cavaliers squandered a late lead but George Hill had a couple of free throws to seal to put them up by one. Instead, he missed the 2nd one and J.R. Smith got the rebound and dribbled out the clock instead of taking a go-ahead basket. They eventually lost the game, much to the dismay of LeBron James, who reportedly went into the locker room and punched a blackboard in frustration.
This was widely reported at the time, by insiders such as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
LeBron James suffered a significant right hand injury after Game 1 when he punched a black board in the locker room, sources told me & @mcten. He had 2 MRIs & has been wearing a soft cast. LeBron not using injury as an excuse but kept quiet to prevent Warriors from knowing.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 9, 2018
LeBron James games his comments on the matter in a post-game press conference. He confirmed that he indeed did the damage to himself, but did not say the exact manner.
“What happened? Self-inflicted, post-game after Game 1. Very emotional, for a lot of different reasons. Understanding how important Game 1 is on the road for our ballclub, what would that have done for us. The way we played, the calls that was made throughout the course of that game, I had emotions on the game was taken away from us. I had emotions of you just don’t get opportunities like this on the road, versus Golden State, to be able to get a Game 1. And I let the emotions get the best of me. I pretty much played the last three games with a broken hand, so that’s what it is.”
King James had every right to be angry. He absolutely carried their team, especially with no Kyrie Irving this time around. He averaged 34 points, 10 assists and 8.5 rebounds per game with a solid 52% clip shooting the ball. Despite his heroics, his Cavaliers weren’t even able to take one game from the dominant Golden State squad led by Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.
Even though it’s widely confirmed that he injured his hand, LeBron James still put up monster numbers on the board. It just goes to show how competitive is as a player willing to risk anything for the coveted title.
Let’s just hope he isn’t breaking any blackboards in Disney World when the season eventually gets going.