OAKLAND, California — It was the shot — or lack thereof — heard around the world.
And the New York City tabloids did not mince words in their back page cover stories for J.R. Smith’s costly blunder.
The New York Post wrote “Who Shot? Not J.R.” It’s a nod to the “Who Shot J.R.” craze from the TV show “Dallas” back in the 1980’s.
The New York Daily news took a similar approach. Their headline read “No Shot J.R.!”
Both tabloids referred to Smith as a “bonehead.”
Smith play cost the Cavaliers a potential win against the Golden State Warriors in game one of the NBA Finals.
George Hill made the first of two free throws with 4.7 seconds left after being fouled by Klay Thompson, but when Smith secured the rebound of the second, he dribbled back toward half court instead of shooting, apparently thinking the Cavs had a lead. Had Smith taken a shot or passed the ball to another play to shoot, the Cavs could have broken the 107-107 tie.
The play left LeBron James — who had 51 points — in utter disbelief.
“He thought it was over. He thought we were up one,” coach Tyronn Lue said.
Yet Smith insisted he knew the score. Draymond Green figured Smith was simply looking for James, saying, “I would have looked for LeBron, too.”
“I just thought we were going to call a timeout. Because I got the rebound, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t shoot it over KD,” Smith said of Kevin Durant. “If I thought we were ahead, I would have just held on to the ball so they could foul me. Clearly that wasn’t the case.”
The game went into overtime and the Warriors beat the Cavaliers 124-114. Game two is Sunday night in Oakland.