Skip to navigationSkip to content
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James reacts to a call during the second half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 31, 2018.
AP Photo/Ben Margot
¯_(ツ)_/¯
PSYCHOTIC BLADE

Caption contest: LeBron James’s agony after a J.R. Smith blunder cost the Cavs game 1

Zheping Huang
By Zheping Huang

Reporter

Despite scoring 51 points—his NBA finals career high—LeBron James didn’t bring the Cleveland Cavaliers a series-opening win after a 124-114 overtime defeat to the Golden State Warriors.

The Cavs could have killed the game in regular time, except for a mind-boggling decision from its guard J.R. Smith. With 4.7 seconds on the clock, Smith grabbed an offensive rebound after his teammate George Hill missed a free throw that would have broken a 107-107 tie. But apparently losing track of the score, Smith inexplicably dribbled the ball away to run out the clock, rather than shooting or passing it or calling a timeout.

Smith’s mistake—perhaps one of the most bizarre moments in finals history—led to a viral photo of James yelling at Smith and throwing his hands up in the direction of the basket:

It has sparked a caption contest and tons of memes on Twitter. Here’re some of the best:

In China, the NBA’s biggest overseas market, Smith is dubbed “Psychotic Blade” for his unpredictability and inconsistency. Chinese internet users took the chance to drive home that point:

Weibo
“Why you didn’t shoot, and looked at me?!” “I’m scared…”
Weibo
Subscribe to the Daily Brief, our morning email with news and insights you need to understand our changing world.

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.